According to the pilgrim´s office, more and more pilgrims are walking the Camino every year. The Pilgrim´s office provides the official data about the Camino and here you can check the influx data year by year or even month by month, the nationality of the pilgrims, the most popular routes and also, the starting points which are more frequently chosen.
So far, 2018 has broken all records since the total number of pilgrims who reached Santiago de Compostela was 327,342 meanwhile the number was 301,036 pilgrims in 2017. This means an increasing bar of 8.74% with respect to the previous year.
If we analyze the data in the Pilgrim´s office, we can get an idea of the average pilgrim´s profile in 2018. For example, we can know that men and women are really equal in percentage: 50,35% women and 49.65% men. Besides, by far most pilgrims travel on foot, 93.49%.
More curiosities about the data: more than half of the pilgrims are between 30 and 60 years old. There are more foreigners walking the Camino than Spanish pilgrims. And, if we focus on which nationalities are on the top, number one are the Italians (14.74%), followed by Germans(13.81%) and Americans(10.14%). Finally, Sarria is still the most popular town as the starting point to walk the Camino since is just over one hundred km from Santiago de Compostela.
The Camino Francés or French Way is the most popular route but it has dropped over 5% compared to the previous year. But, even so, the Camino Francés is chosen by 57% of the pilgrims, while a 25% prefer the Portuguese Camino and the other Caminos are chosen by less than a 6% of the pilgrims.
When the Camino broke records, with the 300,000th pilgrim arriving at Santiago in 2017, the president of A Xunta de Galicia and the archbishop of Santiago de Compostela received the symbolic 300,000th pilgrim, who was Andrew Patrick Larking. He was an American student who started the camino in León on December 2. He said that he was able to discover the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the pilgrim trail and that his two favorite places were the highest point on the Camino Francés: the Cruz de Ferro or Iron Cross and O Cebreiro.
However, the 300,000th pilgrim in 2018 arrived two months before and it was a retired Madrileño called Manuel Miguel Pozo Guerra. He said that the Camino was a motivation after his hard retirement and he is willing to do it again next year.
Buen Camino, amigos!
Photo 1 /4 https://www.lavozdegalicia.es/
Photo 3 https://traveltriangle.com/blog/camino-de-santiago/