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.
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.
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.
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.