- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Burners have a little more change in their dusty pockets than they used to, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal (http://on.rgj.com/1y372bl).

Burners of 2014 were about $5,000 wealthier per Burner than those of 2013, according to the Black Rock City census. Fewer of the Burners were first-timers, as well.

The Black Rock City census is an annual report that sheds light on any shifts in the Burning Man demographic, whether it be their income, gender, race, sexuality or how they experience the Burn.

Since 2001, Burning Man has asked Burners to share information about themselves in order to help Burning Man assess how it is changing.

Few drastic shifts occurred between 2013 and 2014, though a few were noteworthy.

(asterisk) The median annual personal income of Burners increased, from between $50,000 and $51,000 in 2013 to between $54,000 and $55,000 last year. The population of Burners making more than $300,000 annually increased by less than a percent, as did the number of Burners making between $150,000 and $300,000. The number of Burners making between $100,000 and $150,000 increased by more than 1 percent.

(asterisk) The population also aged in certain respects. In 2013, 54 percent of Burners were between the ages of 20 and 34, compared to about 50 percent of Burners in 2014. The number of Burners in their 50s and 60s increased slightly last year simultaneously. Granted, the median age remained 34.

(asterisk) Last year, fewer Burner virgins attended the event. About 35 percent of Burners were virgins in 2014, versus 40 percent in 2013.

(asterisk) About 87 percent of Burners were white, up from about 83 percent in 2013.

(asterisk) The census also revealed that Burners spent the most dollars on food during their visit to the Silver State. They spent more than $100 on food, as well as on fuel, lodging and “fun.” They spend the least money on survival supplies, about $90 on average, according to the census report. The average Burner spent $639 during their visit to Nevada.

(asterisk) More Burners now are using the Burner Express, the bus system that transports Burners to the desert, as an alternative to driving individually or carpooling.

(asterisk) The average Burner drove about 272 miles to get to Black Rock City, which equals about 6.3 million miles traveled by all Burners and about 320,000 gallons of gas consumed.

(asterisk) More than 68 percent of Burners said that they purchased their tickets from Burning Man, and nearly 19 percent purchased tickets from someone that they knew. More than 79 percent purchased their tickets at face value, and less than 2 percent said that they purchased their ticket for more than face value.

Some statistics, on the other hand, barely changed between Burning Man 2013 and 2014.

The majority of Burners were still male, 58 percent, the exact percentage in 2013.

Almost 43 percent of Burners had a bachelor’s degree, nearly identical to the percentage in 2013.

About 44 percent of Burners came from California, only slightly more than the percentage in 2013.

No statistics are available about Burners’ political party affiliations in the Black Rock City 2013 census.

In 2014, about 43 percent of Burners considered themselves Democrats, 42 percent had no affiliation and 6 percent considered themselves Republican. More than 75 percent of those with no affiliated party tended to vote for Democratic candidates.

As for religion, about 72 percent of Burners consider themselves non-religious. Although, the most common religious affiliation is Catholicism, and the least common on the playa is Islam.

About 70 percent of Burners consider themselves heterosexual, 10 percent bicurious, 9 percent bisexual and 7 percent homosexual.

Of about 69,000 attendees, more than 11,700 filled out the online survey that contributed to the census data. The census was approved by a research ethics committee from Denver University.

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com

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