Community Associations Institute (CAI) estimates that in 1970 there were 10,000 community associations nationwide. Today, there are 300,000 community associations housing 60 million Americans. A community association functions as a business, a governance structure, and a community. Traditionally, these functions were applied as follows: business meant austerity; governance meant compliance; and community meant conformity. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Housing Survey, and IRS Statistics of Income Reports, associations today are seeking prudence in business, justice in governance, and harmony in community to provide an enjoyable, vibrant lifestyle for homeowners and residents.
The real estate value of all community associations and their units exceeds $2.25 trillion, approximately 17-19% of the value of all U.S. residential real estate.
The estimated annual operating revenue for all community associations in the U.S. is more than $35 billion. Most of this is spent in the associations' local economies for products and services.
California community associations contribute significantly to California’s economy. More than $12 billion a year goes toward operating funds, most of which go directly to the small businesses that serve associations. These costs would otherwise fall to the local government.