Number of credit unions in the U.S. 2016-2019, by assets

The number of credit unions in the United States is declining, but the number of credit unions managing assets in excess of one billion U.S. dollars has increased. In 2016, there were 272 credit unions that large, but the number increased to 330 by 2019.

What is a credit union?

Credit unions are created, owned and run by their participants, and they perform many of the same functions that banks do. The total value of assets in such institutions exceeds one trillion U.S. dollars, making them a significant slice of the country’s overall banking assets. However, since they are individually quite small, they have two disadvantages due to economies of scale. They have fewer funds to invest and fewer legal resources. While the major commercial banks have entire legal divisions, credit unions must navigate similar regulatory framework with a much smaller team.

Economies of scope

While the economies of scale often work against credit unions, economies of scope work in their favor. Since they are often based in smaller communities, they can tailor their products more specifically to local needs. This keeps millions of members banking at these institutions. It also influences the level of trust that people have in these banks, which may be the most significant factor in their continued success.

Number of credit unions in the United States from 2016 to 2019, by assets

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Release date

March 2020


United States

Survey time period

2016 to 2019

Special properties

Q4 of each year.

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