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The evolution of the Camino de Santiago in numbers

How has the Camino de Santiago evolved in the last 15 years? What were your numbers a little more than a decade ago compared to the current ones?

Camino de Santiago | Foto por caminodesantiagolove

Camino de Santiago | Foto por caminodesantiagolove

How has the Camino evolved in the last 15 years?

The unstoppable popularity of the Camino de Santiago in recent times means that every year records of attendance of pilgrims are surpassed, even exceeding figures reached in holy years. Traditionally the records of pilgrims were exclusively reserved for these xacobean years, with an exceptional capacity to attract the Camino de Santiago to the Christian community, but despite the fact that since the last Jacobean Year eight years have passed, more pilgrims arrive every year to Santiago. of Compostela.

The reasons are many; Among the most important is the growing popularity of the Camino de Santiago outside Spain, where every time is a more attractive plan not only for religious tourism, but as an adventure, cultural or spiritual destination. Foreign pilgrims already surpass nationals annually, which has catapulted the figures and managed to balance the influx in the different seasons of the year on the Camino de Santiago. Each year the differences in traffic between the high season (May / September) and the low season (November / March) are less pronounced.

The Camino de Santiago has changed profoundly in recent years, so much so that it is worth taking a look at the official data collected by the Pilgrim Office of the Cathedral of Santiago and comparing them in time to draw conclusions. Not only has the number of pilgrims increased, other statistics have also varied notably, such as the most chosen pilgrim routes, the importance of foreign pilgrims or the motivations of each pilgrim to make the Camino.

To understand how the Camino de Santiago has evolved since the Pilgrim's Office offers public statistical records (2004), we are going to buy the data for five years: the last two Holy Jacobean years (2004 and 2010), the last year of which there is complete records (2017) and two intermediate years "no xacobeos" (2007 and 2013).

Evolution in influx of pilgrims per year

In 2017, 67% more pilgrims arrived than in the Holy Year 2004 and 11% more than in the Holy Year 2010

  • 2004 (Holy Year): 179,891
  • 2007: 114,466
  • 2010 (Holy Year): 272,417
  • 2013: 215,879
  • 2017: 301,036

Evolution of foreign pilgrims vs Spanish

The increase of foreign pilgrims is huge in just over 10 years, almost 300% more. The number of Spanish pilgrims increases in a very significant way in holy years.

  • 2004 (Holy Year): 137,466 Spaniards (76.42%) / 42,425 foreigners (23.58%)
  • 2007: 55,549 Spaniards (48.53%) / 58,917 foreigners (51.47%)
  • 2010 (Holy Year): 189,905 Spaniards (69.71%) / 82,512 foreigners (30.29%)
  • 2013: 105,893 Spaniards (49.05%) / 109,986 foreigners (50.95%)
  • 2017: 132,478 Spaniards (44.01%) / 168,558 foreigners (55.99%)

Evolution of the routes chosen to make the Camino de Santiago

In only 13 years the French Way has lost a quota of almost 20% thanks to the revitalization of other routes, mainly the Portuguese Way. Therefore, it can be said that today the Camino de Santiago is more "shared" than in 2004.

  • 2004 (Holy Year): French Way, 138,658 (77%); Portuguese Way, 15,831 (9%); Via de la Plata, 9,332 (5%)
  • 2007: French Way, 92,191 (81%); The Portuguese Way, 8,140 (7%); Camino del Norte, 5,709 (5%)
  • 2010 (Holy Year): French Way, 189,306 (70%); Portuguese Way, 34,255 (13%); Camino del Norte, 17,663 (6%)
  • 2013: French Way, 151,818 (70%); Portuguese Way, 29,550 (14%); Camino del Norte, 13,314 (6%)
  • 2017: French Way, 180,738 (60%); Portuguese Way, 59,235 (20%); Camino del Norte, 17,836 (6%)

Evolution of the motivation to make the Camino de Santiago

The exclusively religious motivation to do the Camino increases as expected in holy years, however it was much higher in 2004 than in 2010.

  • 2004 (Holy Year): Religious: 75% Cultural: 6% Religious / cultural: 20%
  • 2007: Religious: 38% Cultural: 8% Religious / cultural: 53%
  • 2010 (Holy Year): Religious: 55% Cultural: 5% Religious / cultural: 40%
  • 2013: Religious: 40% Cultural: 5% Religious / cultural: 55%
  • 2017: Religious: 43% Cultural: 9% Religious / cultural: 43%

The future of the Camino de Santiago

With the next Holy Year already on the horizon added to the unstoppable growth of popularity of the Camino de Santiago, it is expected that by 2021 all the records of affluence registered so far will be pulverized by many. Some even say that the Camino de Santiago could overcome the barrier of 500,000 pilgrims, which does not seem unreasonable if we consider the progression.

How do you see the future of the Camino de Santiago? Do you think the continuous rise in the number of pilgrims is sustainable over time?

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