Aaaah... the old argument about Minbari castes and forces .
First and foremost , it is implied at In The Beginning , the the conception of three castes , with an equal share of population in every caste can only be described as a deranged idea . More to the point , if 1/3rd of the total Minbari population were warrior caste , the E/M war wouldn't last 2 years , it would last 2 weeks . And the Minbari would not suffer casualties at all .
What it is clearly stated in the series is that every caste controls 1/3rd of the fleet , and when Delenn dissolves the Grey Council and summons both the religious and the worker castes to the shadow war , only the 1/3rd share commanded by the warriors remains behind .
One impression that I received from the show , is that the vast majority of the Minbari population is composed by "normal" people (i.e. workers & religious) , as most members of other races , and another one , is that the workers are given control of the Grey Council after the civil war , because the majority of Minbari are workers .
One thing that I always did think about the castes is that their naming descriptions are somewhat deceptive .
The workers are clearly the normal people , that performs the vast array of functions (construction , services , maintenance) needed to make function an industrialized society with a high living standard . In this case , the worker caste designation is very straightforward .
The warrior caste would be a trickier one , because , as some people pointed , this is basically an alien culture , that could consider as warriors not only the actual combatants , but also their families and dependables (mates , children...), as well as other people tied to this caste by familiar relation , but that never would come near to serve in the actual military .
The most deceptive naming is that of the religious caste , from which most people tend to assume that they are all priests , but people like Delenn , Lennier , Ashan and the majority of Minbari crewing the Whitestar fleet during the Shadow war are religious caste , and they are clearly not priests .
My own take on this caste (one of the several that differs from Mongoose's line) is that the religious caste is composed not only by priests/priestesses (although they also exist to take care of the Minbari religious and philosophical needs), but mainly by scholars, healers, teachers , government officials , bureaucrats , diplomats ... the people charged with making those elements responsible of every day's working of any society function normally .
So , what are the proportions of the Minbari population that belong to every caste ?
Well , as JMS never stated anything about this , except that Workers are the majority (as it should be), while the warriors are not 1/3rd of this same population , so my personal guess would be this :
- Workers : 85-90%?
- Religious : 10-12%?
- Warriors : 3-5%?
Just my 0.02 Euro