Albergues and all that
Yes, of course. Peter's observations are correct.
There are mitigating factors in how may Peregrinos you could expect to find in any albergue.
Let's add a few more numbers to the mix:
On the stating point, again from 2004:
39,583 in Sarria
20,695 in O Cebreiro
13,108 in Roncesvalles
10,725 in Tui
10,648 in Ponferrada
9,343 in Saint Jean Pied de Port
9,284 in León
6,944 in Astorga
5,616 in Ourense
4,686 in Villafranca del Bierzo
3,253 in Pamplona
3,227 in Burgos
Combine that with Nationalities '04:
Putting these two groups of numbers together would lead one to believe the albergue populations would consist mainly of Spaniards from Sarria to Santiago. Add that to the first group of numbers (previous post) and Saria to the finale sounds crowded in August.
Many albergues were stuffed to the gils in 2004. I found one in the middle of the Meseta which was having a slower year than 2003. In Boadilla del Camino there are two albergues: one public, one private. The private albergue "En El Camino" is run by a mother and son, and a lovely oasis in the parched Meseta. Their pilgrim traffic was down from the year before. They believed it could have been from a number of factors, but there it is: you never know.
I have an observation which does not appear in any statistics. Europeans seem to start the Camino on a weekend. The tendency is the weekend closest to the beginning of a month, often their first weekend of holiday. St Jean and Roncesvalles are both popular places to start. If you fancy a larger number of people, start the weekend closest to the beginning of August. I you wish a smaller 'first day' number, a mid-week start in April or May might be to your liking. In any case, there will probably be 'room at the inn' for you. Mainly, have a great Journey, without and within.