The Pilgrim’s Welcome Office in Santiago de Compostela keeps detailed statistics about the Camino de Santiago (500 mile trek through Spain) which I find fascinating. Outdoor adventure travel, specifically long distance treks, are continuing to grow. They have released the most recent annual statistics for 2016 and it looks like the Camino de Santiago is continuing the upward trend in popularity.
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2016 Camino de Santiago Highlights:
- 277,913 people walked the Camino de Santiago in 2016 (237,886 walked in 2014, and 262,459 walked in 2015)
- Of those hikers, 133,843 were women and 144,070 were men
- 254,074 completed the Camino de Santiago on foot (91.42%)
- 23,357 completed the Camino de Santiago by bike (8.40%)
- 125 completed it by wheelchair and the rest on horseback
- 75,477 pilgrims were under the age of 30 (27.16%)
- 153,184 were between the ages of 30 and 60 (55.12%)
- 49,252 adventurers were over the age of 60 (17.72%)
- 122,999 people walked for religious purposes (44.26%)
- 132,687 walked for spiritual or cultural reasons (47.74%)
- 22,227 walked only for the adventure of it (8%)
WHERE PILGRIMS COME FROM
- The largest single nation represented was no surprise, Spain, with 124,255 (44.71%) walking the trail.
- Italy was 2nd, Germany 3rd and the United States was 4th with 15,236 (9.92%) people represented.
- The majority of pilgrims started in Sarria (25.83%) and the next most popular starting point was where I also began my journey, St. Jean Pied-de-Port in France. 33,663 souls started in St. Jean.
- The Camino Frances remains the most popular route with 176,115 (63.37%) of pilgrims choosing this historic trail.
Check out the most popular long distance trails in the world HERE.