A record-breaking number of 1719 AEGEE members applied for Agora Budapest, which will take place from 31st of October till 4th of November 2012. That is nearly 200 people more than Agora Napoli, which had the record so far with 1526. This makes the general assembly in the Hungarian capital the most popular AEGEE event ever. Only on Sunday, 2nd of September, the last application day, 357 people registered. The chair team, which will select the participants, will have a hard time to decide about the places, since only 700 people can be accepted.

Organising an Agora? That’s a piece of cake for AEGEE-Budapest!

When the Agora in Budapest will start on the last October day, more than 1000 AEGEE member will feel sad. They applied for this spectacular event and could not participate – due to the limited capacity of the university building. Two days before the deadline the numbers were already sharply on the rise. Between 26th August and 1st of September in average 100 people applied for Agora Budapest every single day. On the last day of August the number of Agora Ljubljana 2008, which was on third place with 1296 applicants, was surpassed. But that wasn’t the limit. On the first two September days combined 535 members applied. Small comparison: For Agora Magusa in 2009 only 588 members applied in total, that’s roughly one third of the total number in Budapest.

Central locations such as Budapest or Ljubljana are very popular – and of course also the wonderful country Italy. The island Agoras in Valletta and Magusa had the lowest number of applicants, probably due to the high travelling costs. You simply cannot go there so easily hitch-hiking or with an AEGEE bus.

However, the number of applicants does not say much about the actual number of participants of an Agora. Only very few antennae managed to host more than 800 people at their Agora. Until today, only one single of the 54 Agoras in the history of AEGEE had more than 1000 participants: Agora Maastricht in 1998, with altogether 1150 participants. A record for eternity?

Budapest could have broken the record, if there weren’t the capacity problems. AEGEE oldie Bernhard Mitterlehner felt reminded of Agora Ljubljana in 2008, where the difference between the number of places and participants was also huge. “There were around 10 visitors in Ljubljana, the rest were delegated and envoys”, bermhard recalls. “But I expect around 100 visitors for Budapest, so probably one visitor for many antennae.” The chair team and the CD definitely won’t have an easy task to pick the best participants. Sygrit Andringa, Secretary of the Agora: “This weekend is going to be hard, the Chair Meeting in Brussels is coming up!”

Italians are the biggest fans of Agora Budapest! No surprise: Agora and and a beautiful city like Budapest are a great combination.

The statistics tell us more about Agora Budapest and the state of AEGEE:

  • 991 applicants (57.6 percent) have never visited any Agora before. Also this is a new record. So, despite the fact that they don’t know from experience what they will expect, they are still excited to go there. That the location is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe also surely plays a certain role. Less than 10 percent (8.4 percent to be precise) have been to four or more Agoras. That’s doesn’t sound much, but it’s 144 applicants in total.
  • The country with most applicants is Italy (11.2 percent,) followed by Poland (9,6), Spain and Germany (9.0 percent both). Thus nearly 40 percent of all applicants are originating from these four countries only.
  • 55.1 percent of applicants are female. That’s a pretty accurate reflection of the gender distribution in AEGEE. Traditionally there are more girls than boys in the association.
  • 53.9 percent of applicants were born between 1988 and 1991. About 36 percent are older, a bit more than 10 percent were born in 1992 or later.
  • 38.2 percent are board members of their local antenna. Altogether 47.6 percent are board members of a local, contact, working group or active in a project, which is a pretty high number and makes the decision about the places even harder. More than half of all are don’t have any of these tasks yet or anymore.
  • 6.5 percent are vegetarians
Only a small fraction of Agora participants has a lot of experience and has been to four or more Agoras (green line). The absolute majority (blue line) has not been to any Agora. Nevertheless, at the Agora speedcourses you can meet only 20 people in average…

Agoras in comparison

The number of relatively fresh AEGEE members at Agora is on the rise again. Since 2010 less than 10 percent of the total applicants had been to more than four Agoras – with the only exception of Agora Enschede in spring 2012, where this line was barely crossed with 10.2 percent. More than half of all applicants for Budapest have never  been to any Agora. At the previous three Agoras that number was below 50 percent.

The countries of origin of Agora Budapest are quite similar to the long-range trends. In the past five years Turkey, Italy and Germany had most Agora applicants, closely followed by Netherlands, Spain and Poland. Greece and Hungary follow on the next places. This time there are surprisingly few people applying from Netherlands – just over 5 percent.

 You can check the statistics yourself and get a deeper insight: https://www.zeus.aegee.org/statutory/ag1210/statistics.php

More than half of the Agora applicants are usually coming from these five countries only: Turkey, Italy, Germany, Spain and Poland. This year the five countries are not so dominant, due to the high total number of applicants.