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News Release

CFP Board Surpasses 92,000+ CFP® Professionals, Increases Gender and Racial Diversity of Financial Planning Profession

The Class of 2021 is the most diverse certificant class in CFP Board’s history

January 26, 2022

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. today announced strong increases in the number and diversity of CFP® professionals in 2021, with record numbers of new women, Black and Hispanic CFP® professionals. The significant milestones support CFP Board’s goal of increasing the public’s access to competent and ethical financial planning, which is exemplified by financial planners who hold CFP® certification.

“In a competitive financial advisory environment with more than 200 designations, CFP® certification allows professionals to accelerate their careers and demonstrate their commitment to CFP Board to putting their clients’ best interests first,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “We are especially excited to see strong increases of women, Black and Hispanic individuals pursuing a career in financial planning, as diversifying the financial planning profession is one of CFP Board’s core strategic priorities and central to the work of our Center for Financial Planning. While we are proud of our growth, there is much work ahead of us as we develop initiatives to further strengthen the talent pipeline for years to come.”

As of December 31, 2021, the number of CFP® professionals reached an all-time high of 92,055, an increase of 3.8% over 2020 numbers. Other milestones in 2021 include:

Significant Year-Over-Year Increase in Diversity of CFP® Professionals

In 2021, the ranks of CFP® professionals grew significantly among women, Black and Hispanic professionals, hitting all-time highs for each demographic:

  • The number of female CFP® professionals increased to an all-time high of 21,504 (23.4% of all CFP® professionals)—an increase of 4.2% over 2020.
  • The number of Black and Hispanic CFP® professionals increased in 2021 to 4,196 — an increase of 13.8% over 2020. This increase is nearly four times the growth rate of all CFP® professionals.
    • There are now 1,652 Black CFP® professionals (1.8% of all CFP® professionals). Black CFP® professionals grew by more than 10% in 2021.
    • Hispanic CFP® professionals increased to 2,499 in 2021 (2.7% of all CFP® professionals). Hispanic CFP® professionals grew by more than 15% in 2021.
    • There are 45 biracial Black and Hispanic CFP® professionals (.1% of all CFP® professionals). Biracial Black and Hispanic CFP® professionals grew by more than 80% in 2021.

Largest and Most Diverse Certificant Class in CFP Board History

Overall, the class of 2021 welcomed 5,273 new CFP® professionals. It represents the largest and most diverse class in CFP Board’s history, hitting all-time highs in the following categories:

  • New Women CFP® professionals grew to 1,374 in 2021, compared to 1,167 new Women CFP® professionals in 2020.
  • New Black CFP® professionals grew to 150 in 2021, compared to 139 new Black CFP® professionals in 2020.
  • New Hispanic CFP® professionals grew to 267 in 2021, compared to 200 new Hispanic CFP® professionals in 2020.
  • New Biracial Black and Hispanic CFP® professionals grew to 6 in 2021, compared to 2 new Biracial Black and Hispanic CFP® professionals in 2020.

“As the U.S. population continues to diversify, the demographics of wealth will change,” said D.A. Abrams, Managing Director for the Center for Financial Planning. “More diverse CFP® professionals will better meet the needs of their clientele and help them achieve their financial dreams. The Center will continue to develop innovative programs to build a financial planning workforce that better reflects the population it serves.”

Moving forward, CFP Board will be reporting data on the racial and ethnic diversity of CFP® professionals on a monthly basis, with some modification to the categories reported. The new categories will be:

  • American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • Asian or Pacific Islander
  • Black or African American
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • White
  • Multi-Ethnic
  • Unknown

Racial demographics will be published alongside gender, age and geographic data at

about cfp board

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by firms as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 93,000 people in the United States.


James Katsaounis
Managing Director, Marketing & Communications