If you could take a census of your favorite fantasy world, what kind of results do you think you'd get? What proportion of dwarves to elves would there be, and would certain classes greatly outnumber the others (in this case I mean class in the "rogue" and "wizard" sense, not the "lower" and "upper" sense)? Thanks to D&D Beyond, the new official online HQ for Dungeons & Dragons players, and news statistics site 538, we finally have some answers.
Click the button in the top-right corner of this image so you can get a better look at all the data.
In a fantastic realm traveled by mighty heroes of countless origins who wield powerful magic and divine favor as easily as you or I could toast a Pop-Tart, the most common race/class combo is... Human Fighter. In other words, characters who are just like you or me but a lot better with swords (and axes and whips and heavy crossbows, Fighters are super into weapons). The veritable army of 4,888 Human Fighters account for roughly 5 percent of the sample size all by themselves.
The next most common race/class selection was Elf Ranger at 3,076, meaning there a whole bunch of Aragorns and Legolases running around the Forgotten Realms (the primary setting for D&D 5th edition). Yes, I know they called Aragorn a ranger in Lord of the Rings but in D&D terms he was clearly more of a fighter and we are not having this argument right now, okay? On the other hand, the least-picked combo of all was Aasimar Ranger. If you're not familiar, Aasimar are basically part human, part angel, which I guess doesn't typically lend itself to making friends with wolves and laying in the mud for hours. To stage an ambush, I mean. Or maybe just for fun.
What's the methodology here? Well, you can use D&D Beyond to build and store characters using the standard creation system. The creators of the app gathered a month's worth of data on these characters, 100,000 in all, and sent it to 538. By the way, I'm not throwing shade at any kinds of characters here; Torm knows I've rolled up a good number of human fighters myself. It's just fun to see these imaginary creations quantified in such a concrete way.
Top image: Warner Bros.