TCA Membership At A Glance

Jan - Dec 2010


I received my 2011 TCA Membership Roster and, as I have done for the last eight years, I thought I'd share a quick look at the Tandem Club of America's (TCA) demographics. As always, my hand-tabulated counts from the membership listing were entered into my spreadsheets and looked at on a state-by-state basis in comparison to data from last year's Membership Roster.


Sadly, my year-over-year predictions of a continued slide in membership appears to continue unabated and based on what was published in this year's 2011 Membership List, TCA membership at approx 650 is down 15% compared to last year, with a net reduction of 115 members.

Looking back and comparing membership to 2002 when I first started following the data, overall TCA membership has fallen by 807 or about 55%.

  • 35 of 50 states saw net losses in membership while only 2 saw a net increase: +1 in Massachusetts and +2 in Colorado.
  • Leading the pack (not surprisingly) was California which lost a net of 13 members in the last year, down from 111 in 2002 to only 34 members as of January 2011... and now only 4th in total membership behind #1 Michigan, #2 Florida, and #3 Ohio, noting that Florida lead-frogged over Ohio to move from #4 to #2.
  • Last year we watched Wyoming's one lone member fall off the roll such that Cowboy State became the first of the 50 US states an District of Columbia to become unrepresented in TCA. Well, for 2011 Wyoming was joined by Alaska and Arkansas who no longer have TCA members. There are now 15 states & D.C. that have fewer than 5 members, up from just 7 in 2002.
  • All told, 15 states lost more than 20% of their membership during the past year, with Pennsylvania coming in 2nd to California for total net reduction with 8 members falling off the rolls.

This is last year's editorial; no need to change since nothing at TCA has really changed: Just as I noted last year, unless TCA abandons its laissez-faire approach to managing the club and develops some type of vision for how it will deliver value to members in the future, I would expect the slide in membership to continue until the revenues from memberships will no longer cover the cost of printing and mailing out DoubleTalk and Web hosting fees. At that point, I'm not sure what happens.

Added: Perhaps DoubleTalk will soon be delivered via Email as a .pdf file to the 650 homes that still belong to TCA, unless our $15 a year membership costs are sufficient to sustain the cost of printing and mailing out the bi-monthly publication. This is probably something that should have happened a long time ago....

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

              • Green Text = Increased Membership
              • Black Text = Net Zero Change
              • Red Text = Loss in Membership

Hospitality Homes, Long-Term & New Member Stats

In past years I've analyzed TCA's membership demographics using membership numbers which allowed me to gain insight into:

  • The status of the most tenured members with membership numbers under 1,000,
  • The status of members who joined TCA beginning in 2004 holding membership numbers above 11,000, and
  • The newest members holding membership numbers above 11,604 who would have joined in 2009.

However, once again this year's membership list omitted the membership numbers so I can't conduct that analysis. Last year I did a by-name reconciliation of the 2008 and 2010 memberships lists which yielded a new set of metrics: Gross Losses & Gross Gains.

Unfortunately, this year the membership has once again been reformatted (first name first vs. last year's last name first) and with over 1/2 of the 2002 membership gone, the juice ain't worth the squeeze to go over the data line-by-line this year. Clearly, no one's paying attention or doing anything visible to stem the slide into oblivion.

Top 10's


Top 10 States based on 2010 Census data for total population
: Not much of a linear relationship here, as California fell from it's 8-year top spot in terms of total TCA members to #4, while staying well ahead of Texas, New York and Florida in terms of total population. From a per-capita standpoint only two of the top 10 most populous states are in the upper 1/2 of the highest per capita TCA member states (GA & NC).


Top 10 States based on Total Number of TCA Members: Michigan jumped to the top of the leader board from #4 in 2009, bypassing Florida and Ohio in the process. It will be interesting to see if Michigan can sustain it's #1 position in 2011 and 2012 as many states that host the Mid-West Tandem Rally do seem to enjoy a bump in membership, followed by dip. Ohio's rise to #2 in 2009 after being #6 back in 2007 was undone by a moderate loss of members. Florida, on the other hand, has gained quite a few members perhaps at the expense of a few other TCA member states as folks retire an migrate South to places like The Villages near Orlando.

Top 10 States based on members as a per capita:

Highest Growth and Greatest Attrition By State

For reference, 2007 saw 12 states add a combined 25 new members to TCA, in 2008 only 10 states reflected a combined increase of 13, and for 2009 only 4 states had net gains of 1 each for a grand total of 4 new net members. 2010 was very bleak with only 2 states showing a combined net increase of 3.

On the other side of the balance sheet, 35 states and the District of Columbia collectively saw 153 members fall off their rosters in 2009 and another 115 dropped from the rolls in 2010.

Again, as noted earlier, 35 of 50 states lost members in 2010, with California's loss of 13 members down from 21 lost in 2009. However, the biggest losers were the much smaller states that lower memberships that saw big, 20% losses and 2 more states falling out of TCA membership all together.



Overall Membership by TCA Region

This table looks at overall TCA membership by region... and like every year, please don't ask me why the regions are set up the way they are as it's not apparent to me either. it probably made sense back in the 1970's.

Regardless, when states are grouped by their regions and we look at the change in membership over the past year you can see without exception all 11 TCA Regions lost membership again, 7 of 11 into double-digit numbers.

Although you might expect Region 1 (AZ, CA, CO, HI, NV, NM, UT) to have the biggest net loss because of California's drop in membership, it was actually the smallest TCA Region 11 (ME, NY, VT) that saw the biggest net percentage drop in membership.

Region 6 (IL, IN, KY, OH) actually had the largest drop in actual members at 19, followed closely by Region 9 (NJ, NY, PA) which had the 2nd highest net number & percentage drops. Region 3 (IA, MN, NB, ND, SD) was 3rd in membership erosion.

Our own Region 7 (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC. SC, TN) here in the Southeast US was once again in double-digit loss territory but, then again, our region is TCA's largest with ~17% of all members represented and the only region with over 100 members.

Now, if we look all the way back to 2002, as you'd expect Region 1's (AZ, CA, CO, HI, NV, NM, UT) numbers are heavily skewed by California and leading the pack with a 70% fall off in membership from it's high of 111. Region 3 (IA, MN, NB, ND, SD) leaped past Region 10 (CT, MA, RI, MN, NH, VT) in the last year to claim 2nd place in the race to the basement.


Sorry, there's just no way to spin this into a positive story....

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