Pilgrim friend Fraluchi from Costa Rica has sent me this interesting anaylsis of the pilgrim statistics published in the last post. Enjoy:
"As usual I had a close look at what has happened so far on the "Caminos a Santiago" this year.
It is interesting to note that 70% of all arrivals (78'310) had chosen to walk the Camino Francés (vs. 69'640 in 2012).
This represents a 12.5% increase compared to the same period in 2012 and is growing faster than overall Camino arrivals (11.8%)
Of these Camino Francés arrivals, 26'204 (or 33% of the total) had started in Sarria, as compared to 21'012 (or 30%) in 2012.
This indicates that the number of short distance walkers has proportionally increased by 25% compared to the numbers in 2012.
I haven't looked (yet) at the numbers who walked the Camino Portugués, but assume that these might show a similar trend.
The percentage of pilgrims who started from SJPP, Roncesvalles or Pamplona remained a steady 26% of all Camino Francés pilgrims and represent 18% of the total pilgrim arrivals in Santiago. Considering that these pilgrims have been "on the road" for an average of at least 33 days, they represent an extraordinary economic factor in the Camino.
Compared to the 33% of pilgrims who started from Sarria (6 days), they should have contributed more than 5 times to Spain's Camino economy.
There is a constant decrease in pilgrims from Spain vs. foreigners: 46% this year, against 48% in 2012 and 52% in 2011. This is not particularly surprising under the country's economic difficulties.
Pilgrim arrivals in the various age groups are showing remarkable shifts. Those of less than 30 years old were 27% (32% in 2012), pilgrims between 30 and 60 years old were 55% (56% in 2012) and elder than 60 years old were 18% (12% in 2012) of the total pilgrim arrivals.
In absolute figures the >60 group has grown a solid 17% vs. 2012; i.e. 5 percentage points above the total arrivals between 2012 and 2013.
Thus the economic effects must have considerably increased. Elder people tend to have more money to pay for better facilities than young backpackers."