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The Camino de Santiago in 2018: Records, routes, pilgrims ... All you need to know

2018 leaves us a Camino de Santiago of records once again, leaving us a question: where is the roof of its power of attraction?

Puente la Reina | Camino de Santiago

Puente la Reina | Camino de Santiago

✔ The Camino de Santiago in 2018: The data that must be known

We closed a new year on the Camino de Santiago, which means taking advantage of the official data provided by the Pilgrim's Office to see how the year has gone on the Jacobean routes. On this occasion we will examine the data of the Camino de Santiago through four prisms: the influx data (total and month to month), the habits and origin of the pilgrims, the most popular routes and finally, the starting points most chosen this year.

▷ The records of 2018: a spectacular March

In 2018 the total number of pilgrims reached 327,342, raising the bar 8.74% with respect to the 2017 data (301,036 pilgrims) and in 20.16% the data for the last Holy Year 2010 (272,417). This absolute record of pilgrims is the result of the increase in the number of walkers in most months of the year compared to 2017, except for the exceptions of April and December. It is noteworthy the exceptional growth data for the month of March, 113% more than in the previous year.

You can consult the pilgrims who have traveled the Camino de Santiago every month in the following list:

  • January: 1,628 (+ 20,15%) / 1,355 (2017)
  • February: 2,181 (+ 28.6%) / 1,696 (2017)
  • March: 11,056 (+113.6%) / 5,176 (2017)
  • April: 22,068 (-18.04%) / 26,925 (2017)
  • May: 40,665 (+15.05%) / 35.346 (2017)
  • June: 45,685 (+ 9.77%) / 41,619 (2017)
  • July: 50,868 (+7.16%) / 47,470 (2017)
  • August: 60,415 (+4.74%) / 57,680 (2017)
  • September: 47,006 (+11.42%) / 42,189 (2017)
  • October: 35,602 (+13.6%) / 31,341 (2017)
  • November: 7.651 (+4.15%) / 7.346 (2017)
  • December: 2,517 (-13%) / 2,893 (2017)

▷ The pilgrims: parity between men and women

To get an idea of ​​the profile of the average pilgrim who has traveled the Camino de Santiago in 2018, we believe that it is best to answer the following questions:

1. How many women and men have traveled the Camino in 2018? This year there has been parity, with women being 164,817 majority (50.35%) by a narrow margin compared to men 162,525 (49.65%).

2. How has the Camino de Santiago traveled this year? As usual, by far, pilgrims travel mostly on foot the Camino, with 306,028 walkers (93.49%)

3. Which age group have been majority? More than half of the pilgrims are between 30 and 60 years old (179,424).

4. What have been the main motivations to go through it? The majority motivation, according to the classification of the Pilgrim's Office, is religious-cultural, with 156,707 pilgrims (47.87%), followed by the religious, with 140,018 (42.77%).

5. Who have been majority, Spaniards or foreigners? As usual, foreigners have a majority of 183,203 (55.97%) compared to the Spanish 144,135 (44.03%).

6. Which countries have contributed the most pilgrims this year? If we look exclusively at foreign countries, the Italians are at No. 1, contributing 26,996 pilgrims (14.74%); followed by Germans, with 25,294 (13.81%) and Americans, with 18,582 travelers (10.14%).

7. And what autonomous communities? As for the origin of the Spaniards, the Andalusians are still the first, with 30,833 (21.39%), followed closely by the locals, who contribute 28,680 (19.90%), with the Valencians at a distance, with 17,243 (11.96%).

▷ The Jacobean routes: a more shared path

As for the roads most chosen by pilgrims to reach Santiago de Compostela, the continuous growth of some secondary routes is striking. The French Way is still the most chosen route, but it drops by more than 5% in the total compared to 2017 (year that has already dropped its percentage compared to 2016).

These are the most popular Camino de Santiago routes in 2018:

  • The French Way: 186,187 (57%)
  • The Portuguese Way: 81,652 (25%)
  • The Northern Way: 19,040 (5.8%)
  • Primitive Way: 15,037 (4.6%)

What have been the most chosen starting points for the pilgrims? Given that the Camino de Santiago has only one goal but multiple possible starting points, this list is always well distributed, although Sarria is traditionally the most popular point, since it is just over 100 km from Santiago (requirement to get the compostela) touring the French Way. The locality of Lugo has been the most popular point of all routes, with 18,274 pilgrims (5.58%).

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