Does a state's population growth determine membership growth?

Recent data released by the US Census Bureau allows for comparison of state population growth with credit union state membership growth. The data indicates that in most cases state credit union growth is exceeding that of the population.

 
 

Recent data released by the US Census Bureau allows for comparison of state population growth with credit union state membership growth. Callahan & Associates analyzed this data to determine if credit union growth was following trends in population growth. The data indicates that in most cases state credit union growth is exceeding that of the population.

According to the Census Bureau, the US population grew 1.2% in the 15-month period ending June 30, 2001. This compares to credit union membership growth of 2.7% in the 12-month period ended June 30, as reported in Callahan & Associates' 2002 Credit Union Directory. This 2.7% growth rate is more than double the population growth rate and reflects the success the credit union are experiencing due to enhanced service offerings and their pursuit of expanded fields of membership.

The following table lists growth rates of both state populations and credit union membership. Credit union membership growth exceeded population growth in 42 of the 50 states. Only three of the top ten states in membership growth are in the top ten in population growth. Hawaii and Massachusetts posted the biggest difference in growth rates, with each experiencing membership growth rates that were 460 basis points higher than their population growth rates. Stated another way, membership in Hawaii and Massachusetts grew at more than 5 times and 10 times the rate of their population growth, respectively. Many other states posted similar strong numbers, with Nebraska and Wyoming experiencing membership growth rates that were more than 30 times the population growth rates.

Credit union growth figures indicate that membership growth is not necessarily determined by US and state population growth rates. Credit unions appear to have made significant efforts to increase membership, enhance their products by providing a more full service offering within the financial services industry. Many have also benefited from rule changes allowing Field of Membership expansion. These combined factors have enabled credit unions realize their membership growth rates beyond that of their state's population growth or the US population growth.

 

 

 

Jan. 14, 2002


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