The online survey is now live at http://census.burningman.com and we encourage all 2014 citizens of Black Rock City to complete a survey as soon as possible so that your voices are represented in the 2014 report. Results won’t be ready until after the online instrument closes.
For the burning-data curious, we have some preliminary results for you! For the past 3 events, the Black Rock City Census Lab has randomly sampled entering participants through Gate Road. In addition, for the first time this year, we surveyed riders entering through Burner Express Buses (BxB). From these shorter, demographic surveys we get a baseline demographic profile that helps us weight the online survey. This post is a preliminary insight into the participants who attended the event in 2014 taken from this data.
This post reflects information collected from 1,367 entering participants randomly sampled at Gate Road from Friday pre-event through Wednesday mid-burn and 1,239 riders of BxB entering from Reno and San Francisco from Saturday, pre-event through Wednesday.
Though these results are preliminary, they do provide some new insights into the steady evolution of the event.
The median age this year is between 32 and 33, a little younger than last year.
Percentage of women at the event increased another percentage point to 41%
Time Since First Burn
Virgin population continues to increase up from nearly 37% two years ago, to nearly 41% of the population in 2014.
Language and Residence
Where do you reside?
California and Nevada residents continue to dominate the event.
After declining from 2012 to 2013, foreign participants rose to 19.5% in 2014.
English as a first language
Perhaps associated to an increase in foreign residents, but also a hint at a greater diversity of the event, the number of individuals indicating English as their first language declined significantly to 81%.
Purchasing your ticket
A vast majority (2/3) purchased their ticket this year from the Burning Man organization either directly or through the STEP program. Nearly 25% purchased their ticket from someone known to them. The growth of STEP coincides with a 50% drop in purchases from Strangers (potential scalpers) when compared with data from 2012. Additionally, 92% obtained their ticket for face value or less. Though the remainder who weren’t lucky enough to receive their ticket this way may feel frustrated, the data indicates that the issue of scalping has been mitigated significantly.
Where did you buy?
How much did you pay?
Politically, burners have historically been significantly more likely to vote than the default US population. This year, we again see that 85% of those eligible to vote in US elections actually do. Moreover, a 51% majority voted in at least 3 of the last 4 federal elections, significantly above the US population.
Another interesting fact to note is that, for the first time, US voting participants, when asked about party affiliation, chose “unaffiliated” (nearly 41% of eligible voters) in larger numbers than any other political party, reflecting a broad trend of dissatisfaction with US political parties. The combination of being such a strong voting population and also being unaffiliated may imply that politicians need to pay attention to their Burner voters in their district. This maybe especially wise in Nevada and California where Burners represent a non-trivial portion of their constituencies.
Eligible to vote 77.2%
Number of times voted in last 4 US federal elections if eligible:
Political Party Affiliation
Written by Scribble;
Data compiled by Hunter and entered on-playa by Census Lab volunteers.