CAS surpassed the 10,000 member mark this year! This is truly a milestone to be celebrated, as it is a testament to the value that the CAS members provide to our employers, our clients, the users of our services and ultimately to the public. As we celebrate this milestone, I also look to the future with excitement. I truly believe that as we progress toward our vision of the actuary of the future, the value CAS members bring will continue to evolve and ensure we are sought after for our abilities to solve problems in new and innovative ways.
The growth of the actuarial profession has been remarkably consistent since the founding of the CAS. In 1914, the Casualty Actuarial and Statistical Society was founded with 97 members. Currently, in 2023, we have 10,160 members. This represents an annual growth rate of approximately 4.4% per year since CAS was founded.
In recent years, however, the growth rate of CAS members has increased. The CAS crossed the 5,000 member threshold in 2009, 95 years after we were founded. The average annual growth rate from 1914 through 2009 was 4.3%, but the growth rate from 2009 through 2019 accelerated to 5.7% annually. The growth rate slowed in 2020 due in part to cancelling an exam sitting at the onset of the pandemic, but the growth rate has increased since 2020. The growth spurt since 2009 resulted in doubling the number of CAS members in just 14 years.
As I explored the membership numbers over the years, I was able to go back and review the Proceedings of the CAS from the founding years. As I was reading through those papers, I was reminded of why I am confident that the CAS will continue to grow and evolve to meet new and emerging needs. Our vision of the future actuary is simply an evolving picture of the historical actuary. These early Proceedings contained papers that provided examples of how actuaries were using data and analytics to solve problems. Yes, the data was very different, and the analytics tools were very different, but actuaries were at the cutting edge of using the data and tools at their disposal to solve business problems such as how to set worker’s compensation rates with limited historical experience, how to structure the capture of burglary insurance premiums and losses to facilitate an actuarial analysis, and how inflation affects insurance.
As the data and technology has evolved over the years, the ability of the actuary to adapt to this new data and technology has only increased our ability to add value. Whether it was evolving from paper spreadsheets to Excel, from one-way data analysis to sophisticated predictive models, or from using a handful or rating variables to hundreds of predictor variables, we have continued to demonstrate our ability to use these new tools to continue to add value.
And just as this has always been true, I believe it will continue to ring true. With the rise of artificial intelligence and even bigger data, I don’t worry at all that these tools will replace actuaries. I am actually excited to see the new applications of these tools by our members. But it will not happen if we remain complacent. We must continue to evolve and grow our skills as the world around us changes. It is what CAS members have done for 109 years. And it is what we will continue to do as we march toward the 20,000 member barrier and beyond.
When we break the 20,000 member barrier, what new and exciting things do you see actuaries being involved in? Please leave your comments below.
Join the CAS in celebrating our 10,000 member milestone on our social media platforms using the hashtag #CAS10k.