2022 Membership Survey


Who are A.A. Members Today?

More than 6,000 A.A. members were randomly selected and surveyed in 2022 by the General Service Office for the U.S. and Canada. The Membership Survey, which has been conducted periodically since 1968, provides a snapshot of the A.A. fellowship and its members. This survey is not a census. The survey results may be of interest to the professional community, the media, and the general public — anyone who wants to know more about A.A. in keeping with the primary purpose of A.A. to carry the message to those who suffer from alcoholism.

Members had the option to take the survey in English, French, or Spanish. For the first time, selected groups had the option to take the survey online instead of the traditional pen-and-paper method. More information about the 2022 survey methodology, downloadable graphics to create presentations, and other resources are available here.

A.A. groups and meetings welcome anyone with a desire to stop drinking. A.A. is for everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, income, or profession. There is no cost to attend meetings or be a member. Nonmembers are welcome to attend “open meetings.” Find meeting locations, types, and times on the A.A. Meeting Guide app.

What brings members to A.A.?

English desktop What Got you here infographic
English mobile what got you here infographic
English mobile what got you here infographic

A.A. members take varied paths to their first meeting

While almost a third of members decide to attend their first meeting on their own, others find their way to A.A. in a variety of ways. They may have been encouraged by others already in the Fellowship, their families, or professionals, while others are influenced by a post on social media or a public service announcement on the TV or radio. Regardless of what brings them here, a remarkable effect takes place when an alcoholic asks for help, and an A.A. member shares their experience, strength, and hope.

when did  you first come to AA
When did you have your last drink?

How long have members attended A.A. and stayed sober?

Every day, people seek a solution to their drinking problem at A.A. meetings. But they may not be ready, for various reasons, to admit they are “powerless over alcohol” and accept the help found in A.A. While some members get and stay sober from their first meeting, for others attendance at meetings plants a seed that takes root over time and brings them back to A.A., where they achieve sobriety. The only requirement for A.A. membership is the desire to stop drinking — whether it has been a day, a month, or a year since a member had their last drink.

What keeps members coming back to A.A.?

meeting attendance
meeting attendance
meeting attendance
It was suggested when I got out of treatment that I attend A.A. meetings. I didn’t own a car, so I’d hitchhike to the nearest meeting, which was one and a half hours away on unpaved highway. Because I didn’t feel I had anything to offer anyone, I’d attend beginners meetings. I was amazed at how I was welcomed into any meeting I got to, and they kept telling me to keep coming back. Never in my life did anyone tell me to keep coming back."
Jacquie, “A.A. for the Native North American”

What types of A.A. meetings do members prefer to attend?

A.A. offers a variety of meetings. Members often have preferences when it comes to the type of meetings they want to attend, and some may require necessary accommodations to participate.

desktop english meeting preferences
english mobile meeting preferences
english mobile meeting preferences

Some members may experience accessibility challenges to participation in A.A., including physical, mental, geographic, cultural, or other factors that vary among people. Whatever the access barrier may be, the goal of members and Accessibilities Committees throughout the A.A. service structure is to find solutions to help ensure every alcoholic can participate in meetings, Twelfth Step work, and service. Many groups use the Accessibilities Checklist to help assess and enhance their level of accessibility.

Some A.A. groups meet in facilities or spaces that are wheelchair accessible; some groups have an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter; and others allow children to be in attendance, helping those members who may have childcare responsibilities. The Meeting Guide app can be used to search for child-friendly, sign language, and wheelchair accessible meetings.

There also is a variety of A.A. literature and other resources — including the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous — available in braille, ASL, closed captions, audio, video, and more.

Learn more about Accessibilities Committees

Contact the Accessibilities Desk

I have not been able to get around without a cane or a walker or my scooter... It is difficult for me to climb stairs when a meeting place is upstairs without an elevator. It is very helpful when a meeting place has accessible parking and accessible bathrooms. Also, I really appreciate when aisles in convention and assembly halls are wide enough for my scooter to maneuver. I remain an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I sponsor several women and am a general service representative (G.S.R.). A.A. and my sobriety are the center of my life."
Deborah, “Access to A.A.: Members share on overcoming barriers”

The number of virtual meetings has skyrocketed in the last few years, with about three-fourths of the Fellowship surveyed in 2022 having attended at least one meeting online. Compared with in-person groups, there were more women, older people, and people with long-term sobriety attending virtual groups.

english desktop types of meetings
mobile english types of meetings
mobile english types of meetings

With more virtual groups popping up in the United States and Canada, these groups may be here to stay. Recognizing this new reality, for the first time the survey included virtual groups in the sampling.

The Home Group

Most A.A. members find it important to belong to one group they call their "home group." This is the group where they attend meetings regularly and try to sustain friendships with other members. While all A.A. members are welcome at all groups, the concept of the home group helps to maintain a strong connection to the Fellowship.

In my home group, we come together to share our experience, strength and hope with every suffering alcoholic that comes our way—or is already there. And we never ask questions—so no one has to tell us anything they don’t want to. "
– From “Women in A.A.”

Many members participate beyond their home group

desktop english sponsorship & group


Alcoholics Anonymous began with sponsorship — starting with co-founders Bill W. and Dr. Bob — and continues today with 81% of members saying they have a sponsor. Sponsors help introduce A.A. to newcomers. They share their experience and take them through the Twelve Steps and provide ongoing support to stay sober. While not a requirement to be a member, sponsorship is an important part of the A.A. approach to recovery from alcoholism through the Twelve Steps.

I’ve found that when the sponsor and newcomer have totally different lifestyles, it forces the two to focus on what they have in common as alcoholics. And for me this only strengthens the bond.”
Daniel, "LGBTQ Alcoholics in A.A."
desktop english healthcare
mobile english healthcare
mobile english healthcare

Since its founding in 1935, A.A. has cooperated with the professional community. Even co-founder Bill W. benefited from medical treatment for his alcoholism. After he had finally put together several months of sobriety, Bill returned to the hospital that helped him to work with other alcoholics, marking the beginning of A.A.’s Twelfth Step work in these types of facilities.

desktop english additional help
mobile english additional help
mobile english additional help
My journey in sobriety has taken me to some beautiful places. No matter where I go around the country I can find a meeting. I have been to meetings where everything has been in French, but the same feeling is there. When I share or try to share in French, the people around the room listen. I have been to meetings where everything was in Spanish, but the handshake, the smile, and the sharing are all the same."
Canadian Armed Forces, "A.A. and the Armed Services"

A.A. Welcomes Anyone Seeking Help for their Drinking

desktop english age of membership
gender of members English infographic
desktop english relationship
relationship status mobile
relationship status mobile

A.A. is for Everyone

Individuals from diverse groups and backgrounds have found help and hope in A.A. for their drinking problems since the founding of the Fellowship. Anyone can be a member and benefit from the A.A. program of recovery.

desktop english composition full width
mobile english composition of membership
mobile english composition of membership
You see, I feel like I am simply a member of Alcoholics Anonymous — nothing more, nothing less.”
Paula, "A.A. for the Black and African- American Alcoholic"
desktop english occupations
desktop employment english
2014 membership survey

Past Surveys

View past membership reports 

We want to hear from you

Please submit this form and tell us how you are using the data from the membership report. And let us know what other questions you would like us to ask in the next Membership Survey.


Carefully conducted survey research is a powerful tool that can use replies from a relatively small number of people to provide meaningful information about the attributes and experiences of a much larger group. But surveys are too often deployed without awareness of best practices regarding sampling procedures, questionnaire design, administration, and analysis. A.A. is to be commended for devoting resources and consideration to these important issues to minimize error and ensure the survey it conducts of its members is as accurate and informative as possible.”
Alexandra Cooper, Ph.D., Consulting Survey Methodologist

Survey Methodology


Learn more about how the survey was conducted and download survey infographics and images to customize presentations to A.A. members and for other audiences, including professionals and the media.


Download Survey Files

Survey Infographics