From March to April, the Coprieta Standard asked members of the micronational community to participate in the Micronations 2017 survey. The survey was a repeat of the Micronations 2007 effort in an attempt to illustrate changing trends clearly. We are grateful that 85 micronationalists, compared to 71 in 2007, spared time to participate, and with the end of 2017 upon us, we are excited to share the results.
Overall, the numbers show that trends in micronationalism tend to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary in pace; however, in some areas, significant statistical changes were observed.
Where in the world are they?
Micronationalism is a global phenomenon and the survey reinforced that reality, with respondents from every continent except Antarctica and Africa. Yet, the community’s population is overwhelmingly centralized on the continents dominated by Anglo/European ancestry. In 2017, 49.4% of respondents were in North America, while 42.3% resided in Europe. 5.9% identified as living in Australia. North America and Europe nonetheless lost “market share” in micronationalism – dropping from a combined 94.3% in 2007 to 91.7% this year – suggesting that the global phenomenon is slowly becoming truly global.
Still the realm of the young …
In 2007, 70.4% of respondents were 25 years old or younger. This trends continues today, with 70.6% reporting the same. The data indicated that the community is nonetheless becoming younger overall: in 2007, 12.7% were 41 years or older; in 2017, it was just 3.5%.
Younger and wiser?
Perhaps contrary to the old adage that wisdom grows with age, the micronational community, despite being younger overall, is increasingly well educated. In 2017, 58.8% of respondents were either graduates with a Bachelor degree, or currently attending university/college. This is a more than 10% increase from 2007, when 47.8% reported the same. There was a small drop in the number of micronationalists still in high school at the time of the survey: 24.7% in 2017, versus 28.1% in 2007.
Little Napoleons everywhere …
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Micronationalists still overwhelmingly prefer to lead their own micronation, to the tune of 69%, a jump from 59.2% in 2007.
Growing old in micronationalism …
The community’s population has grown old with it over the 10 years between our surveys. In 2007, 70.4% of respondents participated in micronationalism for 5 years or less, while only 4.2% were involved longer than 10 years. This year, only 55.2% of respondents reported 5 years or less; 21.1% reported more than 10 years of participation.
Citizens of the world?
In 2007, 70.4% of respondents participated in two micronations or less during their time in the community. As the total years in the community have increased, unsurprisingly, so has the total number of micronations each respondent participated in. In 2017, the 70.4% dropped significantly to 48.2%, while 20% of this year’s respondents reported holding more than 10 citizenships during their participation (one respondent reported 50 total over their years!)
But still intently focused at any given time …
Despite the more open approach to moving around the plethora of micronations within the community, when our respondents choose a home, they generally remain dedicated to it. This year, 50.6% reported being currently active in just one micronation (versus 23.9% in 2007), while 16.5% reported two micronations. That dedication is intently focused: only 34.5% reported visiting other micronations in a non-citizen or -diplomatic capacity once a month.
While one might reasonably expect the simulationist community to be the highest incidence of multiple citizenships (especially on Micras where micronationalists often maintain multiple “characters” in different micronations), the most active respondent – in 7 micronations – was a secessionist.
The Internet giveth …
As a community that is fundamentally dependent on the Internet for its existence, it is no surprise that 61.9% of respondents reported discovering micronationalism online, up from 45.1% in 2007. The second popular means of discovery was by personal referral via friends/colleagues/others at 11.9%, a drop from 19.7% a decade ago.
Involved as King (or Queen) …
Those who make the leap into micronationalism are more likely to found their own micronation. In 2017, 89.3% reported doing so, compared to 77.5% in 2007. Compared to the 69% who prefer to lead suggests that a negative experience at the helm of a micronation has helped some respondents find their niche as being the power behind the throne.
There are few topics more divisive in the community than whether true micronationalism is the domain of secessionists, simulationists, or both.
In 2017, 35.7% of respondents identified as secessionist, striving to build their micronation into a real country, while 64.3% were simulationist, enjoying micronationalism as a hobby.
While this fundamental approach to the community’s purpose is stark, the numbers suggest animosity between the two groups is on the decline. In 2007, 32.7% had a negative view of secessionism, while 27.3% had the same view of simulationism. Back then, the community was largely a collection of fence-sitters on the matter, with 54.5% having a neutral view of simulationism, while 49% were neutral about secessionism.
This year, the number of fence sitters on both sides of the equation dropped significantly: just 11.9% were neutral about simulationism, while 20.2% were about secessionism. The movement of opinion was generally in the positive direction on both sides. The percentage with a negative opinion about secessionism dropped to 28.2%, while only 16.5% viewed simulationism negatively.
Though each camp was viewed more positively, opinions about the importance of both camps cooperating to the future of the community fell this year. In 2007, 50.7% believed such cooperation important, while this year 46.4% did. Back then, secessionists were more likely to believe in the importance (59.1%) than simulationists (46.9%). In 2017, both sides remained believers, with simulationists virtually unchanged at 46.3%, though secessionists fell to 46.7%.
Greater hope in the “YA” in YAMO being misplaced?
Whether future cooperation between or within the ideological camps is best facilitated via intermicronational organizations is less clear this year. In 2007, an overwhelming 71.8% of respondents labelled such organizations as pointless. With the general success of the GUM (especially) in the intervening period, community members are more willing to express faith in YAMOs. Only 31% now see the organizations as pointless; however, that in itself is not as large a vote of confidence as suggested. Those who think the organizations are useful grew less drastically from 29.2% to 46.4%. The remainder decided to sit on the fence and enjoy the show.
Falling participation no longer the biggest threat …
In 2007, immigration and participation levels (42.3%) were the biggest threat to the community’s future according to respondents, while immaturity was second at 28.2%. This year, those threats essentially switched places, with 46.4% worried about the negative impact of immaturity, while 31% still fretted about new blood joining the community. The threat posed by macronational government remained essentially unchanged (4.2% in 2007 v. 4.8% this year).
Thank you again to all those who participated in the survey. If we’re around in 2027, we look forward to doing it all again! Happy New Year and all the best in 2018!