Credit unions are an important facet of American life, totaling more than 5,000 in number.
Credit unions differ from banks in a few key ways: they are not-for-profit, member owned, and can usually pay a higher interest on deposits.
What’s more American than apple pie? The answer might just be: the credit union.
While the honor of the first credit union goes to Germany, the U.S. is now undoubtedly the home to the largest collection of credit union members worldwide, with over 117 million of the world’s 260 million.
The number of nation-wide credit union members has been growing steadily for decades, but accelerated in the wake of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, possibly signalling that consumer trust in traditional banks is waning.
Indeed, one study from 2014 showed that Americans are twice as likely to find a credit union trustworthy as compared to a big, national bank.
What are some differences between credit unions and banks?
One major way that credit unions differ from traditional banks is by being member-owned and not-for-profit. Since a union doesn’t have to maximize earnings for shareholders like a traditional bank, they can often pay a higher interest rate on deposits.
Even within the U.S., credit unions range from small, local unions with fewer than 100 members, to large, multi-state organizations with millions of members. Despite the range in members, this may not translate to the number physical locations available to consumers: big banks typically have more branches than credit unions, many of which are regional.
To find the largest credit union in each state, we analyzed the quarterly dataset released by the National Credit Union Administration. There’s a number of data-points in the report that could be used to rank the unions–total deposits, the number of branches, the number of credit union members, and so on. We decided to use the last of these, the number of credit union members, and then aggregated the data by state.
Below, you can find the largest credit union in your state, either on the map or in the interactive table.
|Name||State||Number of Members||Number of Branches|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||Virginia||8,446,032||336|
|State Employees’||North Carolina||2,403,404||266|
|The Golden 1||California||1,021,799||73|
|Pennsylvania State Employees||Pennsylvania||455,685||25|
|Wright-Patt Credit Union, Inc.||Ohio||386,390||32|
|State Employees Cu Of Maryland, Inc||Maryland||260,786||22|
|American Eagle Financial||Connecticut||146,064||18|
|One Nevada Credit Union||Nevada||75,937||14|
|Black Hills||South Dakota||67,359||16|
|Whitefish Credit Union Association||Montana||56,040||7|
|First Community||North Dakota||43,895||28|
|Town & Country||Maine||39,059||6|
Data Source: National Credit Union Administration.
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