TCA Membership At A Glance

Jan - Dec 2011


I received my 2012 TCA Membership Roster and, as I have done for the last nine 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 previous year's membership data.

While the year-over-year slide in membership appears to continue, this year's annual net attrition was held to a loss of 14 members. With some 636 members on the books as of January 2012 this represents about a -2.2% drop from the 650 TCA members who were signed on as of January 2012. (CORRECTED DATA)

Now, somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to recall there was an anonymous gift of 50 free TCA memberships given out at this past year's Midwest Tandem Rally in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Just looking at the net change in membership numbers for Michigan (up by 21) and surrounding states like Ohio (up by 10), Indiana (up by 8) and interestingly enough even Kentucky (up by 8) there clearly does seem to be a correlation. So, it will be interesting to see if the states / regions that enjoyed a 'bump' from the free on-year memberships will be able to sustain or even build on those gains when we look at TCA membership in February 2013.

Just looking as some details:

  • 28 of 50 states and the District of Columbia saw 76 net losses in membership while 12 states saw a net increases of 60 for a net-net change of -16.
  • After claiming top spot for annual net losses for several years, California lost only 1 net member in 2011 while Texas lost a total of 8, or about 26% of their total membership. Oklahoma actually took a bigger hit as a total percent of membership losing 4 of its 9 members (-44.5%). Other big losses were racked up in Massachusetts and Colorado where both states lost about 33% of their members.
  • In 2009 we watched Wyoming's one lone member fall off the rolls such that Cowboy State Alaska and Arkansas joined the unrepresented club and this year three more states fell off the map: Louisiana, Mississippi and North Dakota.
  • Looking back and comparing TCA membership to 2002 when I first started following the data, overall TCA membership has fallen by 823 or about 56.5%.

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

Top 10 States based on 2010 Census data for total population: Not much of a linear relationship here.

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, but 2011 was a good year with 12 states showing net increases in membership.

On the other side of the balance sheet, 28 states and the District of Columbia collectively saw 76 members fall off their rosters in 2011, well down from the 115 member fall-off in 2010 and 153 member fall-off in 2009.

Again, as noted earlier, 3 states fell out of TCA altogether bringing the total number of unrepresented states to 6. A total of 13 additional states now have 5 members or less with a total of 27 states having less than 10 members.



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 8 of the 11 United States TCA Regions lost membership, 7 of 11 into double-digit numbers. The bright spot was where you'd expect to see it in the Midwest regions where that big MTR bump played a big factor.

Just as we saw last year, the biggest net percentage drop in membership hit the smallest TCA Region 11 (ME, NY, VT).

Region 6 (IL, IN, KY, OH) recovered nicely from 2010 when it had the largest drop in actual members at 19. They recovered the 19 and added five more in 2011.

Our own Region 7 (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC. SC, TN) here in the Southeast US was once again in double-digit loss territory. This year-over-year slide in Region 7 membership has finally caught up and caused it to fall from the largest region to #2 behind Region 6 after growing by 27% in 2011. Region 6 now holds the distinction of being 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 68% fall off in membership from it's all-time high of 111 members to just 33 as of January 2012. Region 4 (AR, KS, LA, MO, OK, TX) snuck past both Region 3 (IA, MN, NB, ND, SD) and Region 10 (CT, MA, RI, MN, NH, VT) to claim 2nd place in the race to the basement. Again, Regions 5 (MI, WI) and 6 (IL, IN, KY, OH) are neck and neck.


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