Dr. Karl E.H. Seigfried, proprietor of the Norse Mythology Blog, has published the full results of his 2013 Heathen Census, along with some analysis. I thought I might take a few minutes to examine some of the results, and crunch some numbers (recalling my days as an election pollster).
First, it should be pointed out that the census only asked one question of the Heathens who responded; their country of residence. It is thus a straight-out count, rather than what we in the United States think of the Census, which collates a lot of extra data on income, education, etc. It would be very interesting to see the results if Dr. Seigfried included some demographic questions in the next iteration of the census.
I’m going to focus on the United States, since that’s where I live. The census yields the following information:
- The United States had 7878 respondents, or 47% of the total respondents
- That represents 0.0025% of the total population of the US
However, Dr. Seigfried then introduces an interesting corrective measure, based on the data from Iceland. Since Iceland (uniquely) has an exact official record of just how many Heathens are in the country, he discovered that the census under-reported the number of Heathens in that country by a factor of 2.173. So, multiply the census results by that number to get the corrected numbers.
That methodology, while ingenious, does have a few drawbacks. First and foremost, it assumes that Iceland is representative of the Heathen community worldwide. I personally think it might be a little over-represented. However, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that it’s a valid corrective factor. That gives us:
- The United States has 17,119 Heathens
- That represents 0.0054% of the total population of the US
Here’s the breakdown by state (based purely on population):
|District of Columbia||35|
And for goodness’ sake, wear your hammer, or valknut, where folks can see it. And don’t be afraid to ask someone you see wearing one, if they’re Heathen. Swap contact info. Don’t let the moment pass by.