Log in

 P e a c e  a n d   U n d e r s t a n d i n g 
 T h r o u g h   T r a v e l   &  H o s t i n g

Log in

US Servas ... the Aging-Out Myth

April 03, 2023 3:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

by Bill Magargal 

For many years US Servas has wrestled with the question of youth. How can we attract more younger members? Are we just ageing out? Last November, the board gathered data from our membership records to shed some light on the issue (see chart below). For purposes of the study, new members were defined as anyone who were approved between Jan. 1, 2022 and Nov. 18. Existing members were defined as active members on Nov. 18, excluding the new members. Here are some interesting statistics. 

The median age for "new members" was 60. The median age for existing members was 70. Membership drops off dramatically after the age of 80... no surprise there. On the other end of the scale, the number of existing members in their twenties was the lowest of any age bracket. However, the number of new members in that category (42) was a significant increase. The total number of members between ages thirty to sixty were only 30% of members aged sixty and above. Here are our take-aways from the study. 

Half of our new members join at age sixty or above, which is when most people retire and have the time and the means to travel. It is also the age when people have the time and inclination to reflect on life and recognize the value of connectedness, the importance of relationships vs. possessions, and hope to leave our world a little bit better and a little more peaceful. 

The dip in membership between the ages of thirty and sixty is also expected. This is when people are at the peak of their careers, and when their kids are headed to college. Time and money are both at a premium. Travel?... only a dream. 

What about the younger people? Hopefully, they are idealistic. Hopefully, they want to see the world. Slow travel?... visiting old people? ... maybe not so much. But, I believe there is an increasing number of young people interested in "real travel", seeing things other than the regular tourist spots. We should certainly improve our marketing and intake process to encourage these people to join. What are your thoughts on all of this? 


  • April 06, 2023 3:29 AM | Anonymous member
    Hello. I am a member 33 years old who joined in 2020 or 2021. I currently have no fixed home and am very unsettled (I was added to Servas USA because my parents live there), but I have been hoping to get more involved once I can set up a computer that isn't just my phone, from which it's difficult to do meaningful work.

    Personally, I have never arranged a host stay through Servas. I do it mostly through Couchsurfing, which has an mobile app and is easier to use. Often I'm staying with people in their sixties (and once a woman in her nineties!) so it's not about a reluctance to visit 'old people'. Rather, it's that Servas doesn't have a streamlined way to contact hosts and request a stay like Couchsurfing – where you can request certain nights to stay and then arrange your stay directly through their app. The ease of use makes me go with CS, though I prefer the mentality of Servas (and the minimum of a two-night stay).

    Hospitality exchanges like Servas have been such an important part of my life, and I really think that Servas has the best approach to this (as opposed to Couchsurfing, etc.) so I'd like to be involved and help Servas modernise to appeal to a younger audience!
    Link  •  Reply
    • April 17, 2023 8:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
      Hi Jane - we realize this is a big problem, especially since we wold love to have more younger travelers in Servas. We are looking into developing an app to make it much easier to navigate and use the Servas website. However, this is a fairly large undertaking for us, so it is unlikely to be completed this year. Please bear with us... we are an all-volunteer organization trying to jump into the 21st century.
      Link  •  Reply
    • May 02, 2023 10:04 PM | Ellyn Jeck
      I'm not "young", but I agree an app would be ideal! It makes planning, dates available, finding out about cultural/experience opportunities and communication so easy.
      Link  •  Reply
  • April 29, 2023 1:23 AM | G.
    Thank you for this article and discussion of current demographics.

    BTW, if we have a general question ab US Servas, can we call the NV office and leave a vmail query there? (Logging in is sometimes difficult, so would prefer a tel contact. )

    Many thanks! -- G.
    Link  •  Reply

Share This Post

Spread the word about Servas.

1887 Whitney Mesa Dr., #1250, Henderson, NV 89014

Contact Us

Phone: +1 800-509-1450

© Copyright 2022


Support US Servas!
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software