The actuarial profession in North America began in the early 19th century. It grew from the principles used in mid-17th century Europe. By the last decade of the 19th century, there were less than 100 North American actuaries. But the numbers increased with each passing year.
The Society of Actuaries (SOA) traces its roots to the Actuarial Society of America. It was formed by a select group of chief actuaries at established life insurance companies. In 1909, actuaries at newer life insurance companies formed the American Institute of Actuaries. In 1949, these two groups merged to form what is now the Society of Actuaries.
Read an in-depth
history of the SOA by Ernest “Jack” Moorhead, FSA 1938, MAAA 1965 and AIA 1971.