Associations by the Numbers

Advancing the Economy and Society

Associations make broad contributions to American life. They are an essential element of our national, state and local economies. They create jobs in every state. Their measurable economic benefits include a total payroll of more than $20 billion. Beyond their direct economic impact, associations play a vital role to enrich communities and create positive change around the world.

  • The IRS recognized more than 60,500 trade and professional associations in 2022.
  • The IRS recognized approximately 1.5 million charitable and philanthropic organizations in 2022.
  • Associations generate a payroll of more than $20 billion.
  • Nonprofit organizations’ share of GDP is over 5.6 percent.
  • Trade and professional associations generate $116 billion in revenue.
  • Nearly 63 million Americans volunteer through an association.


Associations encompass all industries; all professionals; all businesses; all companies

$20 Billion

Associations generate a payroll of more than $20 billion

Advancing the Workforce

Each year, associations provide millions of American workers across every industry and state with critical post-college skills training required for professional success and career advancement. Associations proactively and purposefully create centralized training programs, certifications and standards to ensure individuals, industries and society-at-large benefit from a strong and vibrant workforce.

  • In total, associations account for more than 315,000 meetings held in the U.S. each year, with 59.5 million participants in attendance.
  • 88% of associations, regardless of type or size, report sponsoring an annual meeting or exhibition, with a median attendance of 803 registrants.
  • 52% of associations report holding other regularly scheduled meetings on specific topics throughout the year.

Source: IRS Data Book 2022; NAICS (North American Industry Classification System), U.S. Census Bureau

In an effort to engage more support and advocacy for workforce development, The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC) together established the Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition. Learn about the Coalition and how to join!