TCA Membership At A Glance

 

Jan '07 - Jan '08

Total Membership By Ranked By Total Per State & Total Per Capita Per State

I received my '08 TCA Membership Roster and, as I have done for the last five years, I thought I'd share a quick look at the Tandem Club of America's (TCA) demographics as a way of getting a feeling about how US States stacked-up against each other with respect to TCA membership. The data was looked at both in terms of total TCA members per state and TCA members per state as a percent of households.

In summary, and based on what was published in this year's '08 Membership List, TCA membership at approx 1,006 is down about 8% (net change -91 members) compared to '07: a little less erosion than last year's 9% drop (net change -109 members).

Looking back and comparing membership to '02 when I first started following the data, overall TCA membership is down 31% (-451), with no much indication that this trend will be reversed any time soon. States like Ohio have dropped dramatically from 74 members in 2002 to just 47 this year. California has gone from 111 members in 2002 to 72 members this year. Pennsylvania is another state along with Florida that have also seen quite a drop-off in membership.


Hospitality Homes, Long-Term & New Member Stats

 It was interesting to see that while TCA membership was down overall, Hospitality Home sign-ups were up... reversing a negative trend that was in the negative double digits the past wwo yeas and trending up along the same lines as the 91 teams that joined TCA during this past year.

Looking closer at the demographics, you'll see three data sets in the table below that look at the most tenured members (those with member numbers under 1,000), newer members (those who've been members since about 2004 / member #'s above 11,000), and the newest members (those with member numbers above 11,484 who joined in the last year).

- Most Tenured: The stalwarts of TCA continue to fall off the rolls along a similar trend line to the overall downward TCA membership curve, but at a slightly lower rate: 7 of these teams fell off the rolls for '08. It also appears as though 4 of these teams have relocated during this past year, with New York being a popular place to land.

- The 5-Year & Under Club: This is an area where it appears that the past two years of growth have stagnated. Because the numbers for '08 and '07 were so close, I decided to create a new category this year that parsed teams who joined in the past year from the 5-Year & Under Club. By doing so, it would appear that at least half of the teams that dropped out of TCA this past year were part of this 5-Year & Under Club, with the balance coming from the longer-standing members.

- The newest members were a welcome sight and several states / regions had some nicely concentrated growth that bolstered their overall membership levels.


Highest Growth and Greatest Attrition

Again, all of the news isn't bad with respect to TCA membership. It's noteworthy that 12 states actually saw a net increase in membership during 2007. Leading the way was New York with six new members, 3 of whom appear to have been more senior TCA members who relocated (or who changed their mailing addresses) to somewhere in New York.

The only caveat that I'd most likely apply to some of the changes from '07 to '08 is that I suspect a few states had members like myself where their membership lapsed in the 4th Quarter of '07, causing them to fall off the '07 Membership List, only to recover slightly in '08.

 

The flip-side of the membership coin are the 28 states that had a net loss of members during 2007. Leading the pack again this year is California, down 13 for '07 and 39 since 2002. Some of the others near the top of the list have also been states that have experienced a strong downward trend in membership since I first started monitoring it back in 2002.

 

This following table looks at overall TCA membership by region... and please don't ask me why the regions are set up the way they are as it's not apparent to me either: perhaps some realignment is in order? Regardless, as you can see, when states are grouped by their regions only one -- Michigan / Wisconsin in Region 5 -- has seen an increase in overall membership during 2007. Region 1, led by California with it's 13 net losses, saw a net drop of 24 members last year, with the adjoining Region 2 & Region 3 also well into the 'teens' with respect to net losses.

I was surprised to see that my own region, Region 7, has slowing become the largest in the TCA carried on the backs of Florida's 58 members, North Carolina's 31 members, and Georgia's 25 members.

 

 

As mentioned earlier, for the first time I decided to parse out what I believe to be the newest TCA members from the rest of the general membership. I was pleased to see what appears to be a healthy in-flow of 91 new members who now comprise about 9% of the overall TCA membership. In fact, that bookends the general membership with the 87 most tenured members. The downside of this new data is that it would appear as though TCA may be signing up new members as they buy new tandems but is unable to retain many of them when their intial membership expires.

Again, as noted elsewhere, New York saw a very large surge in new members for '07, as did Texas. New York's neighbor to the East -- Connecticut -- also saw some good growth: Almost makes you wonder if there was a mass migration of TCA members from Massachusetts to Connecticut and New York.

 

 

Links to previous year's TCA Membership at a Glance reports