So, is our sport declining or is it just following the population trends in the US? That’s what I was curious about.
I took the 2012 US Census data and converted the population by age into the equivalent USAWS age groups. Then, I represented those numbers as a % of total population by division, a.k.a. distribution of US population.
Next, I pulled up the USAWS 2012 Ski Year Ranking Lists for every boys/mens division and determined the total number of skiers on the list by division. Then, I represented those numbers as a % of total skier population by division, a.k.a. distribution of skier population.
As you can see in the chart, the two distributions are somewhat related. I see a bump around M2-M4 in the population, and a bump around M3-5 in skiers. We all know that skiing is expensive and M3-5 are more likely to be able to afford the time/costs to ski, so that I how I’d address the bump there.
What I also see is that there is a new US generation population bump coming with B1 ages. Thus, we need to prepare our sport to welcome and embrace these youth into the sport. They will become the M3-5 skiers in 2050.
Unfortunately, I see a population dip in B2/3 ages. In 2030-2040, these skiers will hit M3 divisions. That skier population bubble in M3-5 will be in trouble. By then the current M4/5 skiers will be M8/10 and likely declined in numbers to 60 or so active skiers.
-- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.