Econ Dev Blog No. 3 - Some statistics on corporations

Greetings all EVE pilots,

This third Economic Dev blog presents statistics on corporations in the EVE Universe. The purpose is to give pilots a quick snapshot of the corporate population and some interesting numbers such as average tax rate and the type of ships pilots in NPC corporations vs. player corporations are flying.

Corporations are the foundation of social structure in EVE and it is therefore necessary to have some overview of how the demographics of corporations are and then review that again in about six month time or so, in order to see changes in the corporate environment and to do comparative analysis of the situation.

Total number of corporations and membership

Corporations are either player owned or operated by NPCs. Player characters can become members of NPC corporations but player owned corporations only has other player characters as members. The NPC corporations are assigned to a particular race or are pirate corps that operate in specific parts of the EVE Universe. The table below shows the number of NPC and player operated corporations and the number of members in each type of corporation.

Table1: Number of corporations and member count for NPC and player corporations.

In EVE there are 34,658 active corporations with player members of which 45 are NPC corporations and 34,613 are player established and operated. There are in fact 175 NPC corporations but only 45 accept pilots as members. There were a total of 399,940 active characters in corporations last week of November 2007. Of those 205,000 are in NPC corporations and 195,000 are in player operated corporations. The ratio for each race within NPC and player corporations are shown in the table above as well. There is a lower ratio of Minmatar and Amarr pilots in player corps and a higher ratio of Caldari and Gallente pilots in player corps than in NPC corps.

The reason for the large number of pilots in NPC corps is of course the newbies who entered the world of EVE through one of the newbie corps. Looking at pilots with more than 2 million skillpoints gives us the result shown in table 2 below.

Table 2: Races within NPC and player corps. Only characters with more than 2 million skillpoints.

A 30 day old character should have more than 2 million skillpoints if trained consistently. So looking at players with more than 2 million skillpoints, the difference between NPC and player corps become more obvious. Those who decide to stay on beyond the trial period migrate to existing player corporations or establish their own corporation. There are 174,000 active characters with more than 2 million skillpoints and of those 138,000, or 79%, are in player corporations. The percentage by race is almost identical to table 1 above; hence pilots are migrating from newbie status in the same ratios. This is important since it shows that race difference does not impact the ability of players to advance in EVE. The result for NPC corporations is different but to be able to explain that we need to look at the distribution of skillpoints.

The number of pilots with more than 2 million skillpoints and the average skillpoints per pilot, by type of corporation and race is shown in table 3 below.

Table 3: Skillpoints for characters by type of corporation and race.

The average skillpoints for all characters in NPC corporations are 2.7 million, ranging from 2.3 through 2.9 million based on race. For the player corporation the average number is considerably higher, 13.5 million skillpoints. Taking out newbies and other characters that have not been trained the average numbers increase for both NPC and player corporations. The average for NPC corps increases to 11 million skillpoints and for player corps to 18.7 million skill points.

Looking more closely at the distribution of skillpoints this becomes clearer. Figure 1 below shows the histogram for skillpoints in NPC corps on one hand and player corps on the other.

Figure 1: Distribution of skillpoints within NPC corps and Player Corps.

For NPC corps the majority of pilots have 5 million skillpoints or more, but for player corps the majority of pilots have 15 million skillpoints, or more. There are several hundred very experienced pilots (with more than 50 million skillpoints) in NPC corps though. Being a member of an NPC corporation can help in several ways, among other things a war cannot be declared on an NPC corp so if you are a member of such corporation one is relatively speaking safer in high and low sec. At the same time one cannot have his own POS when being in a NPC corp. Hence pilots have to consider the pros and cons of being in a NPC or player corporation. The histogram for average skillpoints for pilots in player corporations shows a different distribution towards having relatively more pilots with higher skillpoints.

Therefore we can say that most of those 36,000 pilots that choose to stay with NPC corporations are skilled pilots as well, with majority of them with 5 million SP or more. Because of that we have identified two sets of skilled pilots, those who chose to operate with NPC corporations and those who choose to be a part of player operated corporation. The question that remains is what is the significance of these findings? Why would an experienced player be in an NPC corp? Is it to be able to run missions, establish trade and to do all other things than PVP (though that does not prohibit them from PVP-ing)? We call for some discussion on this point here on the forums.


In the Econ Dev Blog no. 2 and in the Quarterly Economic Newsletter one can find information on spaceship production and which ships are popular in space. Looking at similar data by corporation type does support the findings in the previous section. The two graphs below show which vessel pilots were flying at the time the snapshot was taken (mid-November), and includes all pilots, newbies and veterans (the graph excludes rookie ships, shuttles and capsules). Pilots flying for NPC corporations are mostly flying frigates, as expected, but the Raven turns up in the 10th place, ahead of all destroyers, cruisers and battlecruisers. The Raven is the ship most flown by pilots who are members of player corporations, followed by the Drake. An interesting observation is that 3 out of 10 ships are industrial/mining ships and 7 out of 10 are vessels used for battle. Overall, 13% of pilots were flying industrial/mining ships and 87% were flying ships for combat.

Figure 2: Top 10 active vessels for members of NPC corps (3a) and player corps (3b).

A relatively high number of pilots in player corps are flying industrial/mining ships compared to pilots in NPC corps. Our interpretation of this is that when pilots advance in the Universe they see the need for specializing their characters and train the skills of each character according to the profession pilots need. Because of that we see the more advanced characters in player corporations fly more specialized vessels. This could also be an indicator of the share each profession has in the EVE universe, so at this point it could be estimated that between 10% and 30% of all characters are focused on non battle professions such as mining, trade and production while between 70% and 90% are focused on PvP or PvE profession.

Taxation by Corporations.

Corporations are managed in a variety of ways. It is enough to browse the WebPages of corporations to see how different objectives they have and how different their managerial approach is. This is also apparent when looking at the tax rate which is set by the corporations. The average tax rate is 8.6% but the median is tax rate is 5%. The histogram below shows that about 15,000 corps have a tax rate between 0% and 10%, and another 14,000 have a tax rate between 10% and 24.99%. More than 600 corporations have a tax rate of 100%.

Figure 3: Histogram of tax rate and cumulative distribution of tax rates by corporations.

It would be interesting to have some discussion on the forums regarding the different management structure for corporations with 100% tax compared to corporations with 10% tax, or less.

Player corporations can only have outposts in 0.0 space, though they can have other facilities in low sec and in high sec. Overall there are 227 outposts owned by 114 corporations in 0.0 space where there are almost 2,900 solar systems. The solar systems, outside of Empire space are sometimes split into the southern and northern regions and here we will use the same definition by dividing the non-empire regions into northern and southern regions. In the west the dividing line goes between Fountain in the north and Delve in the south, while in the east the boundary lies north of Cache and Great Wildlands. Between those points the regions are separated by Empire space.

In the northern regions there are 102 outposts owned by player corporations and in the southern regions there are 125 outposts.

Table 4: Number of outposts by major regions.

We see that there is relatively low number of corporations that own and operate outposts in 0.0 space. These numbers confirm the general knowledge of all EVE pilots – zero-zero is the place for the elite pilots and corp managers, the best of the best.

Final remarks

This first snapshot at the corporate flora in EVE gives us a good background to do comparative analysis in the future and see how EVE corporations develop over time. Instead of going into more details we at the Research and Statistic group within CCP have decided to try a new format for the Econ Dev blog and post more information for the forums as the discussion evolves.

There are two specific issues we have asked for comments on:

1) Why would an experienced pilot be in a NPC corp?

2) Discussion on the difference in management of corps with 10% tax vs. 100%, and is there a difference in their success?

And of course we will try to answer other questions as they come up. Looking forward to meet you on the forums and read your comments.