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Is bridge dying? Maybe, maybe not.

Is bridge really dying? Depends on what you mean by dying.

If you go to ACBL.org, Bridge Clubs, Table Count

Here's what you'll find: 

1993 saw the greatest number of bridge clubs that we have statistics for, just over 3,900. By 2017 we were down to just over 2,850.

That's a 1000 club drop off.

From this, you might conclude that bridge is dying. A thousand clubs were lost. But does that tell the whole story? 

What clubs died? Let's compare those two years, separated by almost a quarter century:

The ACBL's 25th largest club:

2017: 7572 tables

1993: 6803 tables

100th largest club:

2017: 4025

1993: 3242

250th largest club:

2017: 1943

1993: 1765

500th largest club:

2017: 1088

1993: 1023

Now from clubs far down the list:

Clubs having fewer than one ten table game a week (520 tables a year or less):

2017: 1775

1993: 2700

There's your 1000 clubs!

Bridge in large metropolitan areas and in the areas of the country that attract retirees has actually been growing. Looks to me to be by as much as 20% over the last quarter century. 

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