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Author Topic: Demographics (how many of us are there anyway?)  (Read 1134 times)

Adaire

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Demographics (how many of us are there anyway?)
« on: October 22, 2012, 10:35:13 pm »
So, I've seen different statistics for the estimated number of pagans - or neopagans if you prefer (umbrella term here including eclectic pagans, wiccans of all flavors (btw, neo, etc), recon's (of any culture/religion), druids, heathens, new agers, and all of the other subsets that might be found in the Pagan Hierarchy Poster ;)) ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions with either wicca or paganism referenced as the fastest growing religion in the US and/or the world.

Does anyone have any sources for the above that are reliable? Most of what I've found is either non-specific or doesn't cite where they got the data.

(not sure this is the best place in the forum to post this?)

RandallS

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Re: Demographics (how many of us are there anyway?)
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 08:03:44 am »
Quote from: Adaire;77729
Does anyone have any sources for the above that are reliable? Most of what I've found is either non-specific or doesn't cite where they got the data.

As there are few organized Pagan religions that track membership numbers, there really aren't any good ways to get accurate numbers. I've never seen any reliable numbers and don't really expect to.
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Asch

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Re: Demographics (how many of us are there anyway?)
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 05:06:48 am »
Quote from: RandallS;77762
As there are few organized Pagan religions that track membership numbers, there really aren't any good ways to get accurate numbers. I've never seen any reliable numbers and don't really expect to.

 
This. Ever so much this. There have been some formal polls and surveys conducted (it's way late otherwise I'd dig up some links) but many, if not most, are rather out of date now. An additional problem is that not all nations etc. require religion or lack thereof in formal census recordings etc. Some European nations do but in the U.S. AFAIK it's never been a federal requirement at all. So. You may never find cited scientific widespread data. You could contact established organizations like CUUPS, ADF, etc. and request a membership tally (IDK if they'd give out a raw number or what) but yeah aside from that not sure what else you could go on.

Darkhawk

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Re: Demographics (how many of us are there anyway?)
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 11:11:13 am »
Quote from: Asch;78032
This. Ever so much this. There have been some formal polls and surveys conducted (it's way late otherwise I'd dig up some links) but many, if not most, are rather out of date now.

 
And a lot of pagans aren't going to speak up, even anonymously.

And a lot of surveys won't record pagan religions as anything but "other".
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Naomi J

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Re: Demographics (how many of us are there anyway?)
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 12:58:07 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;78059
And a lot of pagans aren't going to speak up, even anonymously.

And a lot of surveys won't record pagan religions as anything but "other".


There was a campaign by the Pagan Federation to get Pagans to put Paganism as their answer to the 'religion' question on the most recent UK census. This was after Ronald Hutton tried to combine figures from various sources to get an estimate (he estimated 250,000 Pagans in the UK - I'm not quite sure what his sources were). The results of the 2011 census aren't out yet, although I can't imagine the figure will be anywhere near accurate - too many complicating factors, including Darkhawk's point, and the fact that some people will likely still have decided to put Wiccan, Heathen, Celtic Reconstructionist etc, despite the campaign. Not to mention those who disagree with the very existence of the 'religion' question and therefore ignore it - it's optional.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12589641
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Adaire

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Demographics (how many of us are there anyway?)
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 04:36:48 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;77762
As there are few organized Pagan religions that track membership numbers, there really aren't any good ways to get accurate numbers. I've never seen any reliable numbers and don't really expect to.

Thanks everyone, after quite a bit of digging I was hopping I'd just missed something..
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 04:41:49 pm by Adaire »

Adaire

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Demographics (how many of us are there anyway?)
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 04:41:14 pm »
Quote from: Sophia Catherine;78070
The results of the 2011 census aren't out yet, although I can't imagine the figure will be anywhere near accurate - too many complicating factors, including Darkhawk's point, and the fact that some people will likely still have decided to put Wiccan, Heathen, Celtic Reconstructionist etc, despite the campaign. Not to mention those who disagree with the very existence of the 'religion' question and therefore ignore it - it's optional.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12589641

Wow, what a great, surprisingly lucid article - go BBC! It'll be really interesting to see what the numbers look like, as you said, all things considered.

Adaire

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Demographics (how many of us are there anyway?)
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 04:45:16 pm »
Quote from: Asch;78032
You could contact established organizations like CUUPS, ADF, etc. and request a membership tally (IDK if they'd give out a raw number or what) but yeah aside from that not sure what else you could go on.

Hm, good thought, I was thinking of calling the Sage Woman/Witches and Pagans magazine to see if they'd release the no. of subscribers of the individual magazines as well.

On that thought, Randall, would you be open to PM'ing me the no. of ecauldronites? :D
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 04:47:19 pm by Adaire »

Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: Demographics (how many of us are there anyway?)
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 05:19:20 pm »
Quote from: Adaire;78120

On that thought, Randall, would you be open to PM'ing me the no. of ecauldronites? :D

No need for a PM: it's right on the main forum page, at the bottom with the other stats.

Members 1,807

You have to remember, though, that while many/most of them are pagan, we also have Christian, Muslim, and Jewish members, as well as members who don't identify as pagan on other grounds.  We are actually an interfaith forum, with an emphasis on paganism, rather than a strictly pagan forum.

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« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 05:21:39 pm by Marilyn/Absentminded »
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Yei

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Re: Demographics (how many of us are there anyway?)
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 07:36:13 pm »
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;78123
No need for a PM: it's right on the main forum page, at the bottom with the other stats.

Members 1,807

You have to remember, though, that while many/most of them are pagan, we also have Christian, Muslim, and Jewish members, as well as members who don't identify as pagan on other grounds.  We are actually an interfaith forum, with an emphasis on paganism, rather than a strictly pagan forum.

Absent


I'm not sure that's such a great measure. As you said that number contains other groups, but it might also contain accounts that people have made and then subsequently abandoned for whatever reason.

The figure also doesn't give other details that might be interesting, such as gender, specific religious path (eg: Wiccan or recon?), nationality, age and all the other details that might be useful. There is one measure I'd like to see, which I think is more important than these others. How many polytheists do we each know in real life? I know that some people on the site go to Pagan meetings and functions, and I'm guessing that most of those people aren't on this site. I think the results from this would be very interesting.

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