MySeniorCenter Fun Facts

Monday, November 1st, 2021

A few months ago, we pointed out a statistic we track called 'Reengaged Users', which is a person reentering the Center's orbit after having been gone for at least 12 months. In normal times, it happens just 3.5% of the time, but Reengaged Users shot up to 15% during the first year of the pandemic. That statistic generated many questions from you about other statistics such as frequency and stickiness (aka duration). This month, we'll dive into those stats and overlay them with the newly published Census 2020 data.

There's a big difference in the amount of impact a Center can have on a person if they attend once per year for 10 minutes, or visit weekly for an hour or so.

  • Frequency - How often someone comes to your Center

  • Duration - The length of each visit

Welcome to...Fun Facts - the
What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
double edition


Shiny Happy People

To start, we wanted to know how many visits did one person make, on average, to a Center in one year. Across the Network, that average is 30.4 visits per year. That's slightly more often than once every other week. The length of those visits is important as well. The average duration is just over two hours. It really starts to get interesting when you can compare your Center's frequency and duration to similar Centers from across the Network. As we all know, Center sizes vary greatly across the landscape. We've seen small Centers in large cities and huge Centers in rural areas. Sometimes the physical capacity supersedes location. We have our own size comparison, based on visits per year, defined as:

  • Small: fewer than 10,000 duplicated visits per year
  • Medium: 10,001 to 35,000 duplicated visits per year
  • Large: greater than 35,000 duplicated visits per year

Medium-sized Centers have an average of 34 visits per year for their participants. People stick around a lot longer per visit in a big Center. The duration for big Centers is over three hours!

Losing My Religion

If you've ever watched a house-flipping show, you know they all focus on the 'comps'. The want to know what similar houses sell for in the neighborhood. Chances are, your Center is the only game in town, so figuring out the comps is a little trickier. The town next door might be 50% larger than yours, and their Center could be a very different size, so where do you look? The US Census and Stats Canada, both publish something called metro status for each community just for that reason. Being able to compare your Center to others across North America can be really useful when working with your board or municipality. If you don't know how the government classifies your community, check out the US Census, Stats Canada or just ask the Google. The next graphs shows visit frequency and duration by metro status.

Suburban Centers have a much higher visit frequency than the average, but a typical duration of just under two hours per visit. Rural Centers have a lower frequency (28 visits per year), but a duration that's almost 2.5 hours! Urban Centers are close to the average on both metrics.

Man on the Moon

Metro status, based on population density, tells only part of the story. To get a better understanding of the community, we're also going to look at per capita income. It's important to note that this is NOT the income level of the participants, but of the community in general, per the census. Census datasets include nearly a dozen metrics related to affluence; including educational attainment, poverty level, school rankings, etc, but per capita income tells the cleanest story. Plus, it's something most of us are familiar with when looking at population-based data.

For Center participation, there is a massive difference between Centers in communities with over and under $30K annual per capita income. Those Centers with a per capita income of under $30k see their participants, on average, more than once per week. For Centers in the $22K - $30K range, those visits last for over three hours too!


In the first section, we mentioned that the Network average for visits per year is 30.4. Averages, of course, are made up of a multitude of data points. Just like in school, if you wanted to increase your grade, you had to get a few high scores to offset that one test you forgot about. If you want to increase your average visits per year, it helps to know what some of those individual data points look like. This graph shows visit frequency in more detail: once per year, a few times per month, every week, etc. If you want to increase your average, you'll want to increase the number of people who visit three or more times per month. Basically, try to shift people from the left side to the right side of the red line:

We were also interested to find out if there were any monthly or seasonal differences in how long people stay at the Center. Dropping the clocks back next week (for most of us), means that it'll get dark sooner in the afternoon. Does that make people want to go home sooner or stick around in the Center longer?

As it turns out, it looks like less daylight = longer visits!

Next Month

There will be no Fun Facts next month as we spend time with friends and family for the US Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy the holiday season!