How big is the average UK caving club?


Well-known member
I wonder how many of the 90+ years are active cavers? (Whatever 'active' means... please don't discuss!)


Well-known member
That's easily checked from the membership cards. Certainly more 70+ are still digging than even 20 years ago.
I wonder how many of the 90+ years are active cavers?
Most of the over 90s are non-caving members but three have joined BCA as caving members!
Although that doesn't necessarily mean they go underground, as participating in surface walks/ projects requires caving membership......
I have gender data for the last 3 years (since I took over looking after membership)
We don't have gender data for all our membership - there is a space for clubs to provide it - and it is useful for tracking membership trends. But as we don't actually *need* to know we don't insist on it.
For the years 2021, 2022 and 2023 we have gender data for between 84% and 92% of club members.
We currently don't ask individual members for gender at all, so I have omitted them from the table below.

Not sure if it is statistically significant - but looks like a possible trend towards a slowly increasing percentage of cavers being female.

Percentage gender of CIMs
Specified other
Thanks for all the guesses - lots of interesting answers and thought gone into it :)

I am sure you are all on the edge of your seat to find out the answer?

To keep everyone happy I will tell you lots of different averages.
The mean number of members per caving club is 48
The median number of members per caving club is 22
The mode number of members per caving club is 7! (eight clubs have 7 members.)

As I was really thinking about the mean I am going to declare BabyHagrid the closest with their guess of 50!
Well done!

Although as a hitchhikers fan I am going to give PeteH a bonus point as 42 really is the answer to everything - and also one point for Standard Unit of Tom, for recognising the fact ;-)

This all leads me to the conclusion that the most average caving club in the UK is, in fact, the Eldon pothole club.
So not awesome at all, just average.
(Note this is the mean average caving club - I won't tell you the median/ mode most average caving clubs, as I am not members of them.........)

If you like numbers the mean caving club can be broken down further as
26 caving members, 6 non-caving members, 4 student members, 1 member under the age of 18, and 11 members who get their BCA membership as an individual or via another caving club = 48 members total.
A mean of 48, so does that mean that the club I'm in should have 5+ votes at CNCC meetings?