Results from the 2012 Black Rock City Census!

We are so excited for this year’s burn! In about 10 days, we will begin distributing the 2013 Black Rock City Census! Before we do, we want to share the results from the 2012 Census with you. We can’t believe it’s almost been a year! Check out what we discovered about people who attended Burning Man in 2012, you might be surprised by some of the results!

36% of people reported that they were Virgins in 2012.

how many virgins

number of burns before 2012

In 2012, about 25% of people waited less than an hour to get into Black Rock City, 22% of people waited 2 to 4 hours, and 21% of people waited 1 to 2 hours. 15% reported they waited over 8 hours! It’s a long time to wait, but the experiences you have at Burning Man make it all worth it!

hours to wait in line

Results showed that about 61% of participants were men, about 38% were women, and less than 1% reported their gender as fluid.


Age groups  were all adequately represented. Biggest age group was 25 – 29 year olds, followed by 30 – 34 years olds.

age groups

68% of people who came to Burning Man in 2012 reported that they do not consider themselves to be married, while 24% do.


88% of people from 2012 said that they voted in at least 1 of the 4 last elections.


Democrats and Independents were slightly over represented, while republicans were slightly under represented.

political affiliation

Approximately 40% of people reported that they have completed an undergrad program.


53.3% of people from the 2012 Census reported that they are spiritual, but not religious.


Most people reported that they are attracted to only the opposite sex or mostly the opposite sex.

sexually attracted to

The graph below shows the percentage of people who reported how important various ideals were to them based on many of the Burning Man Principles. It seems that self-direction, benevolence, universalism, and stimulation are all important to most people who attended Burning Man in 2012.

importance of principles

Hope you all enjoyed looking at some of the data from 2012! We enjoyed sharing it with you! Stay tuned for more updates about the 2013 Census.


Black Rock City Census Team


13 responses

  1. When can we expect to see the full results that were physically posted at the burn? Specifically, the over-/under-representations indicated by the random sampling?

    • Hi Drew, We’ve posted some of the data around the random sample. Check out “Preliminary Random Sample Results” link above. When we close the online survey, we can then understand how the self-selected online survey respondents correlate to the random sample survey. At that time, we can publish what we find. Stay tuned!

  2. It looks like at least 62% completed an undergrad degree, with an additional 22% completing a grad degree or higher.

    How many participants in the census?

    • Hi Madame!
      The 2012 Census had nearly 10,000 successfully completed and entered forms. This was close to 20% of the attendees last year. The random sample data helped us weight the self selected surveys. Because they were paper forms, it took us months and hundreds of volunteer hours and lots of dusty fingers to enter all that data! This year, the online survey is approaching the same level of participation and the data is already entered for us (whew!) so the results can be published much sooner. Stay tuned!

  3. Pingback: Burning Blog » Blog Archive » Researching the Burning Man Diaspora

  4. Pingback: The Grand Burners.Me Ho-tell | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

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