What happens to their members when they die? (And, yes, we are the answer.)
To answer that question, we examined a massive database of over 2,000 members and hundreds of thousands of records. These include people who have died (often very suddenly), as well as people who joined when they were living and who then died, or were members before they joined or joined and then died. And also things such as how many members have been banned.
We’ve also broken the data down by sex. Not only does the data reveal some fascinating and disturbing (but surprisingly common) information about magic, it also suggests patterns that are at least as strong as the data themselves.
We will leave you with our analysis, which paints the picture as though it was found out at a magic dinner party, as follows.
The first thing we discovered was that magic is remarkably similar to the rest of humanity—except for sex. Magic is the world’s oldest religion. There are over 2,000 religious organizations. Only 1 in 25 of them are entirely male. That is to say, about 5 percent of the world’s population is a part of a religious organization that is 100 percent male (such as Hinduism, Wicca, and the like). That is almost the same as the percentage of Americans who identify as Christians, but in a less-demanding country.
The second observation we made is how widespread magic is over different continents. Over a large sample of countries, there are more female members than male members in every continent, with the highest levels of female membership in Latin America and Africa. These two areas are known for fertility rates that are high on average and low on average. If these regions have been experiencing low fertility and low rates of religious membership for the past few decades, than that could be an indication that there’s been a big and ongoing change.
The third question we asked, which we did not expect to be very interesting or even relevant, was about the organization that people are most likely to join after they die.
We asked the question in several ways:
What do you call the person who has died, but is still alive? (i.e., a wizard of age?)
What is the oldest magic organization?
Where do most people leave off after they die?
The results are the same—we find that the magic organizations with the most members are all female. Only a small fraction are more likely to be male than female
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