Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Updated List of the Countries with the Most Latter-day Saints without a Stake or District

I recently updated the list of countries with the most members without a stake and I also wanted to update the list of countries with the most members without a stake or district. The 2012 list for these countries can be found here.

A district resembles a stake in that it is an administrative organization that includes congregations. However, a district can only include branches and does not have as much autonomy as a stake. For example, a mission president conducts temple recommend interviews and most priesthood matters defer to the mission president. A district is an important preparatory step toward the Church become self-sufficient in an area. Many countries currently without their own stake or district have few available local priesthood holders due to low member activity rates or recent converts with limited leadership experience comprising the bulk of nominal church membership.

Each country and territory is provided below with the number of members, number of branches, and current, if any, affiliation with another stake or district.  Countries in green appear likely to have their first districts/stakes created in the near future, countries in yellow generally have a large number of recent converts and few active priesthood holders to hold leadership positions but high likelihood to have districts organized in the coming years, countries in red have member activity issues or too few members that prevent the creation of a district in the foreseeable future, countries in blue pertain to other stakes or districts and do not appear likely to become their own districts due to reasonably close proximity to their current stake or district headquarters, and countries in dark blue have a poor likelihood of the organization of their first district due to few members spread over large geographic areas.
  1. Bulgaria - 2,402 members - 9 branches
  2. Macau - 1,347 members - 2 branches
  3. Bahamas - 962 members - 2 branches, 1 group?
  4. Lesotho - 838 members - 3 branches - part of the Bloemfontein South Africa Stake
  5. Northern Mariana Islands - 779 members - 1 branch - part of the Barrigada Guam Stake
  6. Namibia - 775 members - 2 branches, 1 group
  7. Greece - 748 members - 4 branches, 2 groups?
  8. US Virgin Islands - 585 members - 2 branches
  9. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - 578 members - 2 branches, 1 group
  10. Curacao - 588 members - 1 branch
  11. Aruba - 507 members - 2 branches
  12. Palau - 447 members - 1 branch
  13. Mauritius - 442 members - 2 branches
  14. Luxembourg - 358 members - 1 ward - part of the Nancy France Stake
  15. French Guiana - 362 members - 1 branch, 1 group?
  16. Grenada - 279 members - 1 branch
  17. Turkey - 293 members - 4 branches
  18. Jersey - 307 members - 1 ward - part of the Poole England Stake
  19. Burundi - 300 members? - 2 branches
  20. Isle of Man - 300 members - 1 ward - part of the Liverpool England Stake
  21. Niue - 280 members - 2 branches
  22. Iceland - 268 members - 2 branches
  23. Saint Lucia - 263 members - 2 branches, 1 group?
  24. Republic of Georgia - 250 members - 1 branch, 1 group
  25. Laos - 245 members? - 1 branch
  26. Kazakhstan - 240 members - 1 branch, 1 group
  27. Slovakia - 203 members - 4 branches, 3 groups - part of the Brno Czech Republic District
  28. Saint Maarten/Saint Martin - 232 members - 1 branch
  29. Rwanda - 221 members - 3 branches
  30. Antigua and Barbuda - 209 members - 1 branch
  31. Tuvalu - 205 members, 1 branch
  32. Cayman Islands - 204 members, 1 branch
Of these 32 countries and dependencies, 12 once had districts but no longer do, namely Bulgaria (2), the Bahamas, Namibia, Greece, Curacao, Aruba, Palau, Mauritius, French Guiana, Turkey, Niue, and Iceland.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Countries with the Highest Members-to-Units Ratio: 2013 Figures

The members-to-units ratio is a statistic ascertained by dividing church-reported membership by the total number of congregations. Countries with high member-to-unit ratios invariably experience low member activity rates as there are an insufficient number of active members to create additional congregations.

Below is a list of the 20 countries and dependencies with the highest members-to-units ratios for 2013.

1. Chile - 950
2. Nicaragua - 836
3. Northern Mariana Islands - 779
4. Bolivia - 733
5. Hong Kong - 721
6. Ecuador - 720
7. El Salvador - 715
8. Honduras - 710
9. Peru - 701
10. Colombia - 699
11. Panama - 695
12. Mexico - 679
13. Macau -  674
14. South Korea - 673
15. Uruguay - 667
16. Kiribati - 641
17. Brazil - 634
18. Paraguay - 624
19. Dominican Republic - 617
20. Venezuela - 600

Member activity rates have appeared to worsen in most countries within the past decade as evidenced by substantial increases in the members-to-units ratio. This finding is supported by only two nations in 2003 reporting members-to-units ratios of over 600 (the Northern Mariana Islands and Chile).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

First Stake to be Created in Jamaica this June

Missionaries serving in the Jamaica Kingston Mission report that the Church has approved the organization of the first stake in Jamaica during the weekend of June 7th and 8th. The Church has attempted to organize a stake in Jamaica for over a decade but has experienced challenges with member inactivity problems and few active, full-tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders. The approved organization of the stake signals some real progress in addressing these concerns within the past couple years.

Jamaica currently ranks as the country with the seventh most members without a stake.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Updated List of the Countries with the Most Members without a Stake

Below is an updated list of the countries with the most Latter-day Saints without a stake. Membership totals are as of 2013 and congregational and district totals are current. Membership totals for mainland China and Pakistan are estimates as no official statistics are available. The number of branches and districts in mainland China is not provided due to the sensitive nature of the Church in that country.  Previous lists of the most countries without a stake can be found here.
  1. Cambodia - 12,223 members - 28 branches - 6 districts
  2. China - 11,000 members?
  3. Malaysia - 9,259 members - 34 branches - 8 districts
  4. Liberia - 8,081 members - 22 branches - 2 districts
  5. Mozambique - 6,900 members - 21 branches - 2 districts
  6. Vanuatu - 6,103 members - 31 branches - 3 districts
  7. Jamaica - 5,712 members - 19 branches - 2 districts
  8. Guyana - 5,474 members - 13 branches - 1 district
  9. Belize - 4,502 members - 11 branches - 2 districts
  10. Pakistan - 3,700 members? - 13 branches? - 3 districts
  11. Romania - 2,990 members - 16 branches - 2 districts
  12. Zambia - 2,758 members - 12 branches - 2 districts
  13. Bulgaria - 2,402 members - 9 branches - 0 districts
  14. Czech Republic - 2,396 members - 13 branches - 2 districts
  15. Cook Islands - 1,844 members - 5 branches - 1 district
  16. Poland - 1,813 members - 14 branches - 2 districts
  17. Ethiopia - 1,807 members - 6 branches - 1 district
  18. Swaziland - 1,693 members - 4 branches - 1 district
  19. Malawi - 1,653 members - 8 branches - 1 district
  20. Benin - 1,439 members - 11 branches - 1 district
Prospects appear most favorable for the formation of stakes within the next few years in Cambodia, Malaysia, Liberia, Mozambique, Vanuatu, Jamaica, Belize, Zambia, and Benin as all of these countries has at least one district that is close to reaching the minimum qualifications for a stake to operate.  Low member activity rates, an insufficient number of branches in individual member districts, and few full-tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders will likely continue to delay the organization of stakes in other countries for several more years to come.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Congregational Growth by Country: 2013

Below is a list of the countries where the Church reported a net increase of four or more units for the year 2013.  The annual percentage increase for the number of wards and branches is also provided:

  1. United States +124 (0.9% increase)
  2. Brazil +31 (1.6% increase)
  3. Nigeria +28 (8.0% increase)
  4. Ghana +20 (13.5% increase)
  5. Cote d'Ivoire +19 (35.8% increase)
  6. Democratic Republic of the Congo +14 (12.1% increase)
  7. Philippines +14 (1.2% increase)
  8. Cape Verde +8 (34.8% increase)
  9. Canada +7 (1.5% increase)
  10. Australia +6 (2.1% increase)
  11. Benin +5 (83.3% increase)
  12. New Zealand +4 (1.9% increase)
  13. Portugal +4 (5.9% increase)
The net increase in the number of wards and branches in these 13 countries totals 284; a larger number than the net increase in the number of wards and branches for the entire Church for the year 2013 (239). Nine  countries experienced a net decrease of four or more units during 2013 including:
  1. Argentina -23 (2.8% decrease)
  2. Venezuela -12 (4.3% decrease)
  3. Peru -10 (1.3% decrease)
  4. Chile -8 (1.3% decrease)
  5. Uruguay -7 (4.4% decrease)
  6. Colombia -7 (2.6% decrease)
  7. Paraguay -6 (4.1% decrease)
  8. Mexico -5 (0.3% decrease)
  9. Papua New Guinea -4 (5.2% decrease)
Decreasing numbers of congregations in Argentina are particularly concerning as the Church has experienced a net decrease in congregations for several years notwithstanding church membership increasing by tens of thousands during this period. So far in 2014, many wards and branches have continued to have been closed in Argentina. It is important to note that unlike other countries in Latin America during the early 2000s, the Church in Argentina did not undergo a period of congregation consolidations during this period.

Membership by Country Statistics Released for 2013

Membership and congregation totals for nations with a reported LDS presence are now available on the Church's official website and can be found at http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics. Data is available under the country profiles on the right side of the site.

The 20 countries with the highest annual membership growth rates in 2013 are listed below. Lists for nations with the most rapid membership growth rates are also available for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The percentage next to the country name is the annual growth rate percentage which is followed by the country's LDS membership at year-end 2012. Countries in bold experienced a membership increase greater than 200. 
  1. Rwanda - 82.6% - 221
  2. Botswana - 40.4% - 3,021
  3. Benin - 33.1% - 1,439
  4. Togo - 24.0% - 2,307
  5. Dominica - 23.6% - 173
  6. Cote d'Ivoire - 21.4% - 22,576
  7. Liberia - 20.5% - 8,081
  8. Malawi - 16.3% - 1,653
  9. Cape Verde - 15.8% - 10,796
  10. Georgia - 15.7% - 250
  11. Mozambique - 14.4% - 6,900
  12. Angola - 14.2% - 1,436
  13. Sierra Leone - 12.1% - 13,078
  14. Swaziland - 11.2% - 1,693
  15. Vanuatu - 11.1% - 6,103
  16. Kazakhstan - 11.1% - 240
  17. Solomon Islands - 10.8% - 564
  18. Ghana - 10.2% - 57,748
  19. Grenada - 10.2% - 336
  20. Democratic Republic of the Congo - 9.7% - 37,909
Below is a list of the top ten countries by numerical increase in membership for the year 2013. Each country is provided with the national increase in membership and the percentage of this increase out of total Church membership increase. Lists are also available for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.  71.6% of 2013 LDS membership increase can be attributed to the following 10 nations. 
  1. United States - 77,473 - 27.0%
  2. Brazil - 40,099 - 13.4%
  3. Mexico - 26,539 - 8.9%
  4. Peru - 16,110 - 5.4%
  5. Philippines - 12,951 - 4.3%
  6. Argentina - 9,876 - 3.3%
  7. Ecuador - 9,082 - 3.0%
  8. Nigeria - 8,141 - 2.7%
  9. Guatemala - 7,974 - 3.7%
  10. Honduras - 6,230 - 2.1%
I will post an analysis of 2013 congregational growth in the coming days.