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December 8th, 2006


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11:43 am - ADF membership numbers, regions, and where things are going
With word that new regions were coming into effect in ADF, I decided that I wanted to take a look at growth rates, given that we'd shortly be unable to compare growth in the Canadian region as we have in the past because it would be split into three parts: Canada East, Canada West, and Europe (everyone in Europe was lumped into Canada before).

Before the split officially took place, these were the growth rates from the previous 20 months, by region, in ADF:
Canada: 98%
Central: -9%
Heartland: 11%
Northeast: 17%
Northwest: 8%
Southeast: 20%
Southwest: 13%
Upper Midwest: 25%
(These numbers were posted to ADF-Leadership a few days ago, but I'm still thinking about them, so wanted to post here, too.)

The Central Region (Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Texas, Louisiana) has been plagued with issues, including the defuncting of all Groves and Protogroves in Texas within the past two years, and only three Groves in that region (one of which is brand new in New Orleans) are left. We also don't have any Clergy in that entire region. I initially thought maybe the fact that they're all Red states had something to do with it, but the Southeast, which is entirely Red as well, posted 20% increases. None of this, of course, is anyone's fault; I'm mostly just thinking through the drop in numbers more than anything else.

For the most part, though, our regions show double-digit increases, meaning that we're generally maintaining our membership balance like we always have. I'm a tad disappointed in the Heartland regions's meagre 11%, but given our size and usual "top-dog" status among regions in terms of membership numbers, 11% still represents a lot of members.

The biggest surprise to me was the Southeast, with a 20% increase, by far the largest increase in the US. Given that South Carolina, and Georgia have both doubled in size and Florida has increased by half-again, though, that's not too surprising. A lot of it, I think, has to do with the enthusiasm our Groves have shown down there, and I'm pleased to see that the idea that it's hard to get things moving in the "Bible Belt" doesn't seem to be stopping anyone.

I expected to see a larger growth rate in the Southwest, but 13% is certainly nothing to sneeze at. The Northeast is still a solid performer: it's where ADF has a good chunk of "old guard" and a lot of our leadership comes out of there (though this is changing rapidly), so there's a lot if resources in the area for newcomers to really latch onto.

The Northwest surprises a lot too, I think, especially in stark contrast to the Southeast. The way we think about the Bible Belt of the American South and the hippies of the American Northwest: one would think we'd have some leaps and bounds in membership up there, but the growing is slow compared to most other regions. I am generally at a loss to explain it, other than to say that sometimes, logical sense doesn't pan out in reality. :)

Canada is the obvious winner, nearly doubling its membership. Now that it's being split into three separate regions, though, things will change. I'm interested to see how Canada fares, now that it's free from being lumped in with Europe, and I'm particularly interested to see how Europe itself fares, now that they're a bit more independent (and we won't be getting the question, "Hey, why does my region list me as "Canada"? I live in Belgum!").

So go Canada, good luck to the new East Canada, West Canada, and Europe regions of ADF, and someone needs to send a fruit basket to Chris:) and valkyrvolva for excellent work in their regions. I'm excited to see how things pan out in the future of ADF.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw", -JB

(27 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:gothicdruid
Date:December 9th, 2006 10:10 am (UTC)
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My impression of things there is anecdotal, but several of the past and present prime movers in Imbas are in the Seattle area and ADF comes in for a lot of criticism on their lists, fwiw (as I mentioned in my comment elsewhere, the main theme is disapproval of pan-IE orientation...most of it based on limited information about how ADF really functions on the grove level). My impression of the NW is that there are a pretty significant number of CR folks around, but that they are functionally sols who are very active on the CR lists/boards. There is among that group of folks a tendency to eschew any self-identification with "Druidism" and to focus on "hearth-centered" religion. That's a huge (and maybe unfair) bit of stereotyping on my part, but it is based on observation over several years on more than one list
[User Picture]
From:chirael
Date:December 10th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
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Great, thanks for the extra info!

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