Monday, August 1, 2011
There was a question on Quora about the income distribution of Burning Man attendees that piqued my interest. The data available from Black Rock City, LLC in their Afterburn Report is a little old, but it also lacked a baseline (i.e., the distribution of US incomes). So, I looked up some income distribution data from 2008 to answer the question.
It turns out that Burners are wealthier than an average US resident, and while those earning under $35,000/year are a bit less likely to attend than average, people earning over $80,000/year are much more likely to attend. Here's the same data with in bar chart form.
 And potentially inaccurate. With n=1573 for the data set and over 47,000 attendees it's easy to imagine that some selection bias may have come into play. There's also the question of self-reporting accuracy (for both the US Census and the Burning Man census), but we'll just have to work with what we've got.
 Of course not everyone from Burning Man is from the US, but a good portion are, so let's roll with it.
 Which makes sense, given that Burning Man is a week-long vacation that requires quite a bit of pre-planning. You don't have to be a millionaire to take part, but having a little extra cash to buy those goggles & all that sunscreen sure helps.
 I've been experimenting with OmniGraphSketcher & am enjoying checking out its new features. I thought the area graph did a better job of showing income distributions, but I didn't like the loss of data specificity.