The number of U.S. certified financial planner professionals reached an all-time high last year, with a pool that continues to trend younger and more diverse, according to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

The board reported that the number of certificate holders last year reached 98,875, a gain of 3.9% over 2022. It was also a historical year for exam-takers, with 9,839 people sitting for the exam, the board noted.

The 2023 class of CFP professionals was the most diverse, with the most women and racially and ethnically diverse CFP professionals in a single year, the board said. Also, of the 6,089 new CFP professionals, 56% were under age 35.

The number of new women planners grew to 1,692, an 11.5% increase over 2022. That brings the overall number of women CFP professionals to 23,484 (23.8% of all CFP professionals), the board said.

As for new racially and ethnically diverse professionals, the board saw a 12.6% increase to 858. This brings the number of racially and ethnically diverse professionals to 9,408 (9.5% of all CFP professionals), the board said, noting that the number reflects a growth rate of 7.9% and represents twice the overall growth rate of all CFP professionals.

These were among the milestones in 2023, the board said::

• Hispanic CFP professionals grew by 11.3% to 3,016 (3.1% of all CFP professionals).
• The number of Black CFP professionals grew by 7.5% to 1,899 (1.9% of all CFP professionals).
• The number of Asian or Pacific Islander CFP professionals increased by 5.5% to 4,096 (4.1% of all CFP professionals).
• American Indian or Alaskan Native CFP professionals increased by 6.6% to 241 (0.2% of all CFP professionals).  
• Multi-ethnic CFP professionals grew by 20.0% to 156 (0.2% of all CFP professionals).

“As we enter the 51st year of CFP certification, the value of the CFP mark is only growing,” board CEO Kevin Keller said in a statement. “CFP Board is dedicated to building a sustainable, diverse financial planning profession that reflects the communities we serve—it’s one of our strategic priorities. We aim to attract talent and insights from all backgrounds to meet the growing demand for competent and ethical financial planners.”

The board also noted that there was an increase last year in pro bono hours and scholarship awards. Pro bono hours contributed by CFP professionals jumped 20% to 330,192 hours. The board doled out $725,055 in scholarships to 176 recipients, a 54% increase in scholarship awards from the previous year, the board said.