WOSM Membership Report 2021 - Regions

Analysing the data from the 2019 Census gives us a snapshot of what Scouting looks like today, allowing WOSM to explore the composition of each Scout Region’s membership. This data supports our World and Regional Scout Committees to make informed decisions that are of most benefit to support Scouting in the region.

The following infographics provide an overview of a summary of the data for each WOSM Scout Region as of 31 December 2019. They outline the following 

  • Reported membership of the region
  • Ratio of adults to young people per region
  • Breakdown of membership by gender
  • Current growth rate of the region
  • Current market share in each region.  


Regional Tends

Whilst global trends serve as a good general indicator, the richness of diversity that is within WOSM requires a consideration of trends and their regional contexts. Below are the key trends identified by the analysis of census data by Region for the years 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2019:


Key findings


  • The growth in Africa, Arab, and Asia-Pacific Scout Regions is reflected in their respective rising market shares:  Africa at +0,13%, Arab at +0,15%, and Asia-Pacific at +0,49% in the period of 2015 - 2019. 
  • The European Scout Region shows an increase in its market share of +0.34% as a result of the rise in its absolute growth of 3.8%.  
  • The decrease in membership in Interamerica and Eurasia is also reflected in the decrease of their market share for the period of 2015- 2019.  Interamerica showing -0,29% and Eurasia -0,03%.
  • The European Scout Region and Asia-Pacific Growth continued stable growth trends at an average of +4% annual increase for the period of 2015 - 2019. As result, the European Scout Region increased its membership by +15,6% and Asia-Pacific by +16,9% compared with 2015.
  • The growth rates in the Asia-Pacific Scout Region and the Arab Scout region are increasing compared to the period of 2010 - 2015. Current compound annual growth shows +3,9% in the Asia-Pacific Scout Region and +14,2% in the Arab Scout region for the period of 2015 - 2019. This is compared to respectively 0,88% and -0,65% in the period of 2010 - 2015. 


Membership Growth in the Regions




Key general findings on Regional growth


  • The data on absolute growth indicates that whilst WOSM is growing overall by 12% this increase in membership is not equally shared across all scout regions. Asia-Pacific Scout Region continues to be the highest contributor of new members adding 4.7 million new members in the last 4 years. This is followed by the Africa Scout region with 0.9 million, Europe 0,3 million, and Arab with 0,1 million new members. The Interamerica Scout Region continued its trend in membership decline having lost 1.1 million members in the last 4 years.
  • The Asia-Pacific Scout Region is home to 77% of the total membership of WOSM, growing from 75% in 2015.
  • Membership growth is slowing in Africa and European Scout Regions. The annual compound growth rate of the European Scout Region has reduced from +4,53% for the period of 2010 - 2015 to +3,8% for the period of 2015 - 2019.  In Africa Scout Region the annual compound growth rate has reduced from +23,36% for the period of 2010 - 2015 to +6,45 % for the period of 2015 - 2019.
  • The Asia-Pacific Scout region growth rate is increasing with a current compound growth rate of +3,9% per year (calculated for the period of 2015 - 2019) compared to +0,88 for the period 2010 - 2015. The growth is equally spread across the genders with a rise of +15% for male and female members in 2015. 
  • The Eurasia Scout Region and the Interamerican Scout Region lost a significant number of members in the last two triennia. Eurasia Scout Region lost 54,6% of its total members compared with 2015 and the Interamerican Scout Region lost 27% from the total members compared with 2015. 
  • For Eurasia, it’s of note a significant review was done in 2018 including field visits to all its 9 to more accurately understand the grass-roots situation. As a result, significant historic over-reporting was noted, with the current numbers representing much more accurately the reality in the field. As a consequence of these field visits and membership reality, significant changes were implemented in the support provided to the Eurasia NSOs, making sure it is adapted to the capacity of these NSOs.  
  • The Interamerican Scout Region lost an accumulative 3 million members in the last 14 years. It’s of note the majority of this loss in absolute numbers is attributable to two of the largest NSOs in the Regions, the USA and Canada, although an overall downward trend is visible also in many other NSOs. 
  • The Arab region was the strongest region for female recruitment achieving a growth rate of 338% in female members, thanks to more accurate census reporting, as well as several NSOs actively opening up their youth programme to girls in the reporting period.




Key Findings for youth & gender in Regions


  • The European and the Africa Scout Region achieved within their growth an improved gender balance in favor of female youth members. Europe showed an increase of female members joining of +28% and Africa +31% compared to 2015.  Europe and Africa have more female than male members joining the movement in terms of both absolute numbers and percentage of new members. 
  • The Interamerica Scout Region during the period of 2015 - 2019 saw a large growth in female members, 93% versus 2015, but a decline in male members, down -17% from the male from 2015.  Accumulatively the region lost 8% of its youth members. 
  • The Arab Scout Region reported accelerated growth in the period of 2015 - 2019 with an increase of 45% in youth membership compared with 2015, countering the previous loss of 3% in the period of 2010 - 2015.  With this rate, the Arab Scout Region is our fastest-growing Region. The spread of new youth members in the Region is now gender-balanced, even tilting slightly in favor of females with 67 006 new girls vs 62596 new boys. Overall, the Region has attracted more than three times as many females as it had in the previous reporting period.
  • The Africa Scout Region registered a +25% increase in its youth membership compared to 2015. The trend of more female members joining the region continues with females making up 51% of all new youth members.




Key Findings


  • On a global level, the number of adults increased by 9%.
  • The Interamerican region lost 60% of its male adults and 40% of its female adults compared with 2015.  In the same period, the Eurasia Scout Region lost 86% of its male adult volunteers and 93% of its female volunteers compared with 2015.  
  • The Arab Scout Region increased the number of adults by 187% compared with 2015. 40% of the new adults that joined in this reporting period were female. 
  • The largest absolute growth of new adults was in the Asia-Pacific Scout Region. 1,093,197 new adults joined the movement, increasing the number of adults in the region by 63% compared with 2015.
  • The Asia-Pacific is the only region where in absolute numbers more female adults are joining the movement. Showing at 60% of all new adults for the period of 2015 - 2019 compared to the number of male adults at 40%. 
  • Africa and European Scout Regions have reported stable growth of adults at an average of 35% for the period 2015 - 2019. The numbers of female adults have increased in these two regions with 52% in Africa and 61% in Europe compared to 2015.
  • The overall ratio of adults to young people decreased by 0,2% compared to 2015, following the trend that more growth was recorded in youth members than in adults.


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