How many people were at Youtopia?

Honestly, I have no idea.  But together we might all know!

One of the questions on the Dada census was “How many participants do you think are here at Youtopia?”  Using the wisdom of the crowd, we can get a pretty good guess.

The average of all of the answers to that question is 14,419.  Uhhh, that’s way off.  What happened?  Well, people guessed numbers like 1, 2, 3.14 and 3.5 (and two different people guessed 8?!?).  However, it is the huge guesses of 1,000,000 and 1,111,111 that threw the average off quite a bit.

But what happens if we use the median (the middle answer when they are sorted) instead of the mean? Turns out to be 3,000 exactly.

Even more impressive, using percentiles we can be very confident (90%) that the true number was between 412.5 and 7,676.  Tightening things up some, 50% of census respondents thought the true answer is between 2,000 and 3,200.

While it might seem like this estimate is biased a little low, we need to remember that the census question implied “how many people are here right now?” rather than “what is the peak population?”.  Since many people showed up on Friday and the census forms were available on Thursday, these estimates seem quite reliable.