The table below reports growth in USMS membership in Florida Gold Coast LMSC and total U.S. from 1980 through 2003. This analysis puts emphasis on how we are growing relative to population in our area. Here are some observations. USMS appears to have doubled in size from 1982 (from 52 members per million people to 109 members per million people). Growth slowed from 1990 to 2000 in both rate and in the number of members. We had 137 members per million people in 2000. Growth was approximately 15,000 members from 1982 to 1990 and approximately 12,000 members from 1990 to 2000).
In 1990, Florida Gold Coast LMSC was slightly ahead of national while Florida LMSC was slightly behind. Growth in the Florida LMSC was about the same as national from 1990 thru 1999, but growth in Gold Coast was substantially greater than Florida or national. In 1999 we had 170 members per million population compared to approximately 137 in Florida LMSC and nationally. Recently our membership has not kept pace with population growth declining from 170 members per million people in 1999 to 140 members per million in 2002. Our hosting nationals in 1989, 1995 and 1998 certainly is a factor in these numbers. Membership is always boosted by hosting nationals and the recent decline is less than in other years. But it does seems appropriate to discuss membership promotion in our FGC annual meeting.
The above information on USMS is from the USMS handbook (http://www.usms.org/admin/lmschb/lmsc_hb_general.pdf). Any data prior to 1982 would have to come from the AAU and that data would not be accurate or available. Ted Haartz was quoted in Swim-Master (May'81 page 2) "Total registration reported by the AAU for 1980 was 7022. I suspect this number to be low because of incorrect reporting." Ted and June Krauser concur that we are not likely to find good information on the number of USMS members prior to 1982.
Thanks to Dot Evans of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida for providing population data for Florida. Data for FGC & the Florida LMSC is approximate; Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties approximate FGC and the rest of Florida approximates the Florida LMSC. No adjustment has been made for the fact that the Florida panhandle is not part of the Florida LMSC. All of Hendry, Calhoun & Jackson Counties are assigned to Florida LMSC in this analysis.
Total U.S. Population came from the Audubon Society website which included the following note. "The July 1, 2000 population estimate (282,224,348) reflects modifications made by the U.S. Census Bureau to the base number after a large "overcount" was made in the 2000 Census. It is believed this overcount occured due to a combination of overly high emigration estimates, overly low estimates for illegal immigration, and better on-the-ground enumeration by the Census Bureau." (http://www.audubonpopulation.org/newpop2/pages/facts/uspopdata.htm)
This analysis was done by Carl House for use in the Florida Gold Coast LMSC. (10/20/03)