How Many CFA Charterholders are there in the World?


CFAs are in high demand as major investment houses prefer to hire CFA charterholders in their asset management and research divisions.

But do we have an actual number of CFA Charter holders around the world, and what do they do? Let’s take a look.

Latest Number of CFA Charterholders and Members

As of fiscal year ended August 2017:

  • Number of members: 156,800
  • Number of CFA charterholders: ~95% of total members
  • Countries with members: 159
  • Local member societies: 148

In FY2017, the countries with the most number of CFA program administrations were:

  • China (65K)
  • United States (59K)
  • India (22K)
  • Canada (20K)

CFA program administration means the number of Level 1, 2, and 3 exams run by the CFAI. There were 270K CFA program administrations in FY 2017, with the top 5 countries (above plus the United Kingdom) accounted for 67%.

CFA Charterholders by Country

The CFA Institute does not disclose the number of CFA charterholders by country. However, we understand that 95% of CFAI members have the CFA charter, and you can make a rough estimation based on that.

Please note that for countries with strong growth in CFA exam candidates, the percentage of Charter holders among all CFAI members are likely lower, because there are more candidates (vs charterholders) in the pool. We will cover this in more detail below.

CFA Institute Members by Geographic Location

Total CFA Members by RegionCFA Program Candidates by Region
 number of cfa charterholders number of cfa candidates

North America still represents the region with the most members. The second region is Europe at 16%, follow closely by Asia at 15%. Asia is experiencing the highest growth (44% of CFA candidates are from Asian countries) and therefore it is expected to become the number 2 regions in the near future.

Here is the growth of total CFA exams administered in FY 2017:

  • China: 28%
  • India 20%
  • Canada: 5%
  • USA: 3%

Number of CFA Charterholders Awarded

We have detailed statistics up to 2013. During that year, 9,275 charters were awarded, compared to the all-time high of 10,903 in 2012. Despite the 15% drop, 2013 is still the year with third highest number of newly awarded charters.

The US had 3,358 new charter holders, representing 36% of total. UK came second with 932 (10%), closely followed by Canada (9.5%), China (6.4%) and Hong Kong (5.3%). If China and Hong Kong was combined, it would be the country with the 2nd highest number of charters representing 11.7% of total.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Number of Newly Awarded Charters in 2013

number of CFA charterholders in 2013

Would You Like More Information?

To learn more about the information on CFA, go to our frequently asked questions page:

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