MADISON, Wis. – At press time, CUNA’s Market Research Department released the 2001/2002 Credit Union Environmental Scan. Designed to facilitate strategic planning, the annual report surveys the credit union landscape in terms of demographics, marketing, finance and economics, technology, financial products and services, human resources, and legislative and regulatory issues. This year’s E-Scan emphasizes trends and issues resulting from bank modernization, globalization, the U.S. economy, and the Internet. It also looks at issues such as the untapped potential of minority and women small business owners, customer relationship management, the anticipated shortage of peak borrowing-age members, wireless and multi-channel delivery, and the political power wielded by the mature market. Here is just a glimpse at some of the findings: With 18% of the U.S. population ages 12 and under expected to grow over the next 20 years, researchers believe this group will start borrowing money sooner. They also have large sums of annual discretionary income-$28 billion- of which 14% is saved. In addition, the youth market exerts a huge influence on parental spending from vehicles and vacations, to homes. Other E-Scan results find the minority population is expected to surpass the non-minority population by the year 2050. According to the study, a recent Milken Institute report indicates that minority businesses’ contributions to the national economy are large representing approximately 12% of all the nation’s business, and since 1987 the number of minority firms has grown by 17% per year. More than 34% of the nation’s minority-owned firms are based in California, while Florida and Texas contain more than 10% each. While the population becomes more diverse, there has also been a marked change in households. The report finds non-family households are growing faster than family households as marriage decreases while divorce and cohabitation increases. Thirty-two percent of households contain individuals living alone or unrelated people living together. In addition, CUNA estimates that 24% of all credit union member households are singles or unmarried couples without children. According to E-Scan, the Census 2000 results also point to an aging population where the current median age of 35 is expected to be 40 by 2003. As the population ages so do the homes, and a Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies finds homeowners spending about $180 billion annually on residential remodeling. Average annual remodeling expenditures reportedly range from $3,840 for trade-up buyers to $2,930 for first time owners. The E-Scan is available in several formats. For more information call (800) 356-8010, ext. 4157, or visit www.cuna.org . -mbourjolly@cutimes.com