Re: Declining BSA Membership
Scott Begin (0005555440@MCIMAIL.COM)
Wed, 15 Mar 1995 20:58:00 EST
There has been much discussion recently about the decline in BSA
Membership during the late 1960's and early 1970's.
Some members have suggested this was a result of the anti-military,
anti-war effort of the era, with the Boy Scouts being associated with
the Military due to the uniforms, etc... How true this is, I can't
Others have suggested that it was due to the program changes introduced
in 1972? that took some of the outdoors out of scouting. Again, I can't
say how true this may be...
One other factor that I think may have been an even bigger cause hasn't
been mentioned: pool of available youth. I don't have the statistics
handy, but I seem to remember that the US experienced a "Baby Boom"
after WWII from 1946 until about 1963ish. The declining birth rate in
the late 1950's and early 1960's would have meant that less youth were
scout age during the late 1960's and early 1970's. If you couple this
with the reasons listed above, it may have been the cause of the
reduction in membership. I couldn't find the figures that really
supported this argument (birth rates were sampled for 1960, 1970, 1980,
1990, but not the individual years). Between 1960 and 1970 the birth
rate fell from 23 per 1000 population to 18 per 1000 population. In
numbers, this was about 525,000 births a year decrease (from 4.3 million
to 3.8 million). Figures quoted from the 1994 Almanac from the MS
Anyone with statistics to back me up or shoot holes in my theory is
welcome to do so.
Yours in Scouting,
Scott A. Begin ASM, T-348, Oak Forest, IL; Calumet Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City