Monday, December 5, 2016

Stake Growth: 1950-Present

The Church has experienced significant stake growth in 2016. Provided with the net increase in the number of stakes in parentheses, the ten years with the highest net increase in the number of stakes include 1996 (146), 1995 (142), 1997 (128), 1980 (126), 1978 (105), 1981 (103), 1979 (102), 1977 (87), 1992 (82), and 1998 (81). Thus far, the Church in 2016 has reported a net increase of 87 stakes (95 stakes organized, eight stakes discontinued). Several additional stakes will be organized by the end of the year, suggesting that there will likely be a net increase of between 90 and 100 stakes. Consequently, the Church in 2016 will likely report its eighth largest annual net increase in the number of stakes in its history.

Percentage growth rates indicate less significant stake growth trends in 2016. The preliminary 2016 annual percentage growth in the number of stakes is 2.7% - the most rapid percentage growth since 1998. However, this percentage growth currently ranks as 33rd within the past 67 years. The Church has previously reported percentage growth rates four times as high as for 2016. For example, 10% or greater annual stake growth occurred for five years: 1978 (11.9%), 1980 (11.5%), 1977 (10.9%), 1979 (10.3%), and 1960 (10.0%). If the Church reported 10% annual growth for the number of stakes in 2016, there would be a net increase of 317 stakes.

Below is a list of the annual net increase of stakes since 1950:

1950 +5
1951 +11
1952 +11
1953 +9
1954 +8
1955 +5
1956 +15
1957 +12
1958 +22
1959 +17
1960 +29
1961 +26
1962 +19
1963 +25
1964 +11
1965 +12
1966 +13
1967 +23
1968 +25
1969 +23
1970 +41
1971 +25
1972 +30
1973 +38
1974 +45
1975 +62
1976 +61
1977 +87
1978 +105
1979 +102
1980 +126
1981 +103
1982 +71
1983 +66
1984 +49
1985 +75
1986 +40
1987 +44
1988 +41
1989 +32
1990 +45
1991 +53
1992 +82
1993 +49
1994 +40
1995 +142
1996 +146
1997 +128
1998 +81
1999 +37
2000 +39
2001 +26
2002 -5
2003 +22
2004 +41
2005 +36
2006 +44
2007 +45
2008 +28
2009 +47
2010 +31
2011 +50
2012 +59
2013 +45
2014 +64
2015 +60
2016* +87 

Below is a list of the number of stakes per year and the annual percentage growth of stakes per year since 1950.

(Year, Number of Stakes, Percentage Growth)
1950     180     2.9%
1951     191     6.1%
1952     202     5.8%
1953     211     4.5%
1954     219     3.8%
1955     224     2.3%
1956     239     6.7%
1957     251     5.0%
1958     273     8.8%
1959     290     6.2%
1960     319     10.0%
1961     345     8.2%
1962     364     5.5%
1963     389     6.9%
1964     400     2.8%
1965     412     3.0%
1966     425     3.2%
1967     448     5.4%
1968     473     5.6%
1969     496     4.9%
1970     537     8.3%
1971     562     4.7%
1972     592     5.3%
1973     630     6.4%
1974     675     7.1%
1975     737     9.2%
1976     798     8.3%
1977     885     10.9%
1978     990     11.9%
1979     1,092     10.3%
1980     1,218     11.5%
1981     1,321     8.5%
1982     1,392     5.4%
1983     1,458     4.7%
1984     1,507     3.4%
1985     1,582     5.0%
1986     1,622     2.5%
1987     1,666     2.7%
1988     1,707     2.5%
1989     1,739     1.9%
1990     1,784     2.6%
1991     1,837     3.0%
1992     1,919     4.5%
1993     1,968     2.6%
1994     2,008     2.0%
1995     2,150     7.1%
1996     2,296     6.8%
1997     2,424     5.6%
1998     2,505     3.3%
1999     2,542     1.5%
2000     2,581     1.5%
2001     2,607     1.0%
2002     2,602     -0.2%
2003     2,624     0.8%
2004     2,665     1.6%
2005     2,701     1.4%
2006     2,745     1.6%
2007     2,790     1.6%
2008     2,818     1.0%
2009     2,865     1.7%
2010     2,896     1.1%
2011     2,946     1.7%
2012     3,005     2.0%
2013     3,050     1.5%
2014     3,114     2.1%
2015     3,174     1.9%
2016*     3,261     2.7%

Saturday, December 3, 2016

New Stakes Created in Brazil, Iowa, Nigeria, and Thailand; New Districts Created in Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone

Brazil
A new stake was created in northern Brazil on November 20th. The Teresina Brazil Planalto Stake was organized from a division of the Teresina Brazil Stake and the Teresina Brazil Horto Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Angelim, Esplanada, Planalto, Poti, and Timon Wards, and the Caxias Branch. There are now three stakes in Teresina metropolitan area.

There are now 265 stakes and 39 districts in Brazil.

Iowa
A new stake was created in Iowa on November 20th. The Des Moines Iowa Mount Pisgah Stake was organized from a division of the Ames Iowa Stake and the Des Moines Iowa Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and four branches: the Easter Lake, Osceola, Raccoon River, Walnut Hills, and Waukee Wards, and the Centerville, Indianola, Lenox, and Perry Branches.

There are now eight stakes in Iowa.

Nigeria
Two new stakes were organized in Port Harcourt, Nigeria on November 27th. The Port Harcourt Nigeria South Stake was organized from a division of the Port Harcourt Nigeria Stake and the Port Harcourt Nigeria West Stake, whereas the Port Harcourt Nigeria North Stake was organized from a division of the Port Harcourt Nigeria West Stake and the Port Harcourt Nigeria East Stake. The Port Harcourt Nigeria South Stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Abo-Ama, Borokiri, Bundu, Diobu 1st, and Township Wards, and the Alase-Ama and LoLo-Ama Branches. The Port Harcourt Nigeria North Stake includes the following seven wards and two branches: the Choba, Emohua, Eneka, Igwuruta, Omoku, Rukpokwu, and Rumuodumaya Wards, and the Isiodu and Rumuji Branches. There are now five stakes and one district in the Port Harcourt metropolitan area.

There are now 41 stakes and 17 districts in Nigeria. Nigeria is now the country with the eleventh most stakes.

Thailand
A new stake was organized in Bangkok, Thailand on November 27th. The Bangkok Thailand West Stake was organized from the Bangkok Thailand West District, the Bangkok Thailand Stake, and the Bangkok Thailand North Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Asoke, Bang Bua Thong, Bang Khae, Bangkok (English), and Thon Buri Wards.

There are now four stakes and two districts in Thailand.

Cote d'Ivoire
A new district was organized in Cote d'Ivoire on November 27th. The Bouafle Cote d'Ivoire District was organized from a division of the Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire Stake and includes three branches: the Agbanou, Bouafle, and Koko Branches. All three branches used to operate as wards in the Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire Stake. It is likely that the district was organized to spur greater growth in Bouafle and organize additional branches in the near future. Furthermore, the Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire Stake likely required the three congregations in Bouafle to qualify as a stake 18 months ago as at the time there were only four wards in Yamoussoukro. Currently there are seven wards in Yamoussoukro. With one stake and six districts in central Cote d'Ivoire, prospects appear extremely likely that a third Ivorian mission will be organized to service this area of the country. Currently the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan West Mission administers central Cote d'Ivoire and includes five stakes and seven districts within its boundaries.

There are now 11 stakes and 11 districts in Cote d'Ivoire.

Liberia
A new district was organized in Monrovia on November 27th. The Caldwell Liberia District was organized from a division of the Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island District. The new district includes the following three branches: Caldwell, Caldwell New Georgia, and Upper Caldwell Branches. The six remaining branches in the former Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island District were upgraded to wards on November 27th when the district became a stake. The new district was likely organized to spur greater growth in this area of Monrovia and to prepare for the organization of additional branches. Local reports indicate that as many as 200 attend some branches in the new district. Area leadership reports plans for "several" additional stakes to be organized in Liberia within the next two years.

There are now three districts and one stake in Liberia.

Sierra Leone
Members in Sierra Leone report that a third district was organized in Bo. The new district's name and the number/names of the branches in the new district are currently unavailable. It appears that this new district was organized on November 27th. With three districts in Bo, one district in Kenema,  and three mission branches in Makeni, Bo may be a likely location for the organization of a second mission in Sierra Leone in the coming years.

There are now six districts and one stake in Sierra Leone.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

LDS Stake Reestablished in Liberia

I have confirmed from several full-time missionaries and local members that the Church reestablished a stake in Liberia on November 27th. The new stake appears to have been organized from the Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island District. The district had nine branches prior to the organization of the new stake. Most of the branches have appeared to become wards in the new stake.

Prior to the organization of the new stake last Sunday, Liberia was the only country in Africa where the sole LDS stake was discontinued. The Church operated a stake in Monrovia between 2000 and 2007 that administered eight wards and one branch. The stake was discontinued in 2007 and two member districts were organized. Leadership challenges, members fleeing the country due to the Second Liberian Civil War, distance from mission leadership in Ghana, and inactivity problems appear primarily responsible for the discontinuation of the original Monrovia Liberia Stake in 2007.

Significant LDS growth developments have occurred in Liberia during the past five years. The number of official congregations has increased from 13 at year-end 2010 to 28 at present. A separate mission headquartered in Liberia was created in 2013. A third member district was organized in 2014 to accommodate growing numbers of branches in Monrovia. Membership growth has significantly accelerated in the past few years to generally more than 10% a year. The Church organized a second branch in the city of Kakata earlier this year, making Kakata the only Liberian city outside of Monrovia with more than one LDS congregation. Missionaries have reported scores of investigators attending some branches since the reintroduction of full-time missionaries in mid-2016. Full-time missionaries were withdrawn from the country in August 2014.

Additional stake creations appear likely in the immediate future. The remaining two member districts in Monrovia have a sufficient number of congregations and nominal members to become stakes. Furthermore, three new branches were recently organized in these two districts within the past few months.

Liberia was previously the country with the second most members without a stake according to year-end 2015 membership statistics. Only Malaysia has more members than Liberia and no stakes. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Potential New Missions in 2017

Below is a list of potential new missions that may be created in 2017. Criteria for identifying potential new missions include recent LDS membership, congregational, and organizational (stakes and districts) growth trends, trends in new missions created within the past decade, population size, and the boundaries of current missions. Several new missions appear likely to be organized despite the number of full-time missionaries falling to 72,000 as of early November 2016. The average number of missionaries per mission is currently approximately 171 - a number within the range of historical averages during the past couple decades. The number of missionaries serving will likely steadily increase in the coming years and necessitate the creation of additional missions. The double cohort that resulted from lowering the minimum age of missionary service appeared to end in 2016. Going forward, there should not be any artificial increases in the number of members serving full-time missions that are related to changes in the 2012 decision to lower the minimum age for missionary service. Missions included with an asterisk appear most likely to be organized in 2017.
  • Australia Brisbane (2nd mission)*
  • Brazil Aracatuba
  • Brazil Manaus (2nd mission)
  • Brazil Porto Velho
  • Brazil Sao Luis
  • Brazil Sorocaba
  • Cameroon Yaounde*
  • Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan (3rd Mission)*
  • Cote d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro*
  • Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa (2nd mission)*
  • Ethiopia Addis Ababa*
  • Ghana Kumasi (2nd mission)
  • Malawi Lilongwe
  • Mexico Chilpancingo
  • Mexico Juchitan
  • Mexico Toluca
  • Nigeria Ibadan*
  • Nigeria Uyo
  • Philippines Bacolod (2nd mission)
  • Philippines Cabanatuan
  • Philippines Davao (2nd mission)
  • Philippines Dumaguete
  • Philippines Lucena
  • Philippines Ormoc
  • Philippines Santiago
  • Rwanda Kigali
  • Samoa Apia (2nd mission)
  • Slovakia Bratislava
  • Solomon Islands Honiara
  • Spain Alicante
  • Taiwan Kaohsiung
  • Tanzania Dar Es Salaam*
  • Texas Austin*
  • Texas El Paso
  • Texas Plano*
  • Thailand Bangkok (2nd mission)
  • Tonga Nuku'alofa (2nd mission)
  • Zimbabwe Bulawayo

Saturday, November 19, 2016

New Stakes Created in Arizona, Brazil, and Utah; New District Created in Cote d'Ivoire

Arizona
A new stake was organized in the Snowflake area on November 13th. The Centennial Arizona Stake was organized from a division of the Snowflake Arizona and Taylor Arizona (renamed Silver Creek Arizona) Stakes. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Casa Linda, Cottonwood, Heritage, Snowflake 2nd, Snowflake 3rd, Snowflake 4th, and Willow Wards.

There are now 111 stakes in Arizona.

Brazil
A new stake was created in northeastern Brazil on November 6th. The João Pessoa Brazil Centro Stake was organized from a division of the João Pessoa Brazil Torre Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Bela Vista, Colinas do Sul, Costa e Silva, Das Indústrias, Jardim Veneza, and João Pessoa Wards. There are now five stakes in João Pessoa and seven stakes in Paraíba State.

There are now 264 stakes and 39 districts in Brazil.

Cote d'Ivoire
A new district was created from three mission branches in the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission on October 30th. The new Abengourou Cote d'Ivoire District includes the following three branches: the Abengourou 1st, Abengourou 2nd, and Abengourou 3rd Branches. The original boundaries of the branches were also adjusted to include neighboring cities such as Agnibilékrou and Niablé, suggesting that member groups may operate in these locations.

There are now 11 stakes and 10 districts in Cote d'Ivoire. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

85 New Stakes in 2016 and Counting

The year 2016 has been an extraordinary year for stake creations. Thus far, there have been 85 new stakes organized since January 1st, 2016. The geographical breakdown of these new stakes is as follows: 39 in North America (46%), 16 in Africa (19%), 13 in South America (15%), 7 in Central America (8%), 5 in Oceania (6%), 4 in Asia (5%), and 1 in Europe (1%). Locations where the most new stakes have been organized include Arizona (10), Brazil (8), Texas (8), Nigeria (6), Utah (6), Honduras (4), Washington (4), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (3), and Ghana (3).

The last time the Church had organized as many new stakes in a single year was in 1997 when 125 new stakes were organized. Stake growth is a robust indicator of "real growth" in the LDS Church as stakes require certain minimum requirements to operate (e.g. number of active, full-tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders [AFTPMP]; number of congregations; ratio of AFTPMP to general church membership; etc). Thus, accelerated stake growth in 2016 constitutes a noteworthy development in regards to the growth of the Church.

I have received firm confirmations of three additional stakes and reports of a nine additional stakes to be organized by the end of the year. Given stake growth trends thus far in 2016 and reports of many more new stakes to be created by the end of the year, it appears likely that the Church may create as many as 100 new stakes in 2016. If you have information about a new stake to be organized in your area, please comment.

Stakes Likely to Split Outside the United States and Canada - November 2016 Edition

Below is an updated list of stakes that may split within the near future. Previous lists are available for December 2012, January 2014, December 2014, and November 2015.

AFRICA
  • Aba Nigeria North (11 wards, 1 branch)
  • Aba Nigeria Ogbor Hill (10 wards, 5 branches) 
  • Abeokuta Nigeria (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon North (11 wards)
  • Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon South (13 wards)
  • Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Yopougon Attie (10 wards)
  • Abobo Cote d'Ivoire West (9 wards, 7 branches) 
  • Accra Ghana Adenta (10 wards, 5 branches)
  • Accra Ghana Christiansborg (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Benin City Nigeria Ihogbe (10 wards)
  • East London South Africa (11 wards, 1 branch) 
  • Freetown Sierra Leone (10 wards)
  • Ibadan Nigeria (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Kimbanseke (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Masina (10 wards, 1 branch) 
  • Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo Mokali (10 wards)
  • Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo Ngaliema (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Lomé Togo (10 wards, 7 branches)
  • Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of Congo (11 wards)
  • Port Harcourt Nigeria East (10 wards, 4 branches)
  • Port Harcourt Nigeria West (14 wards)
  • Warri Nigeria (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Tema Ghana (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Yamoussoukro Cote d'Ivoire (10 wards)
ASIA
  • Jakarta Indonesia (9 wards, 1 branch)
  • Butuan Philippines (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Hsin Chu Taiwan (10 wards)
  • Iloilo Philippines North (9 wards, 2 branches)
  • Lipa Philippines (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • Mandaue Philippines (9 wards, 1 branch)
  • Singapore (10 wards)
  • Tao Yuan Taiwan (9 wards)
EUROPE
  • Verona Italy (8 wards, 5 branches)
CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
  • Guatemala City Stake (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • La Ceiba Honduras (11 wards, 1 branch)
  • Managua Nicaragua (9 wards, 1 branch)
  • Mazatenango Guatemala (11 wards, 1 branch) 
  • Quetzaltenango Guatemala West (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • San Salvador El Salvador La Libertad (10 wards, 3 branches) 
  • Tegucigalpa Honduras La Esperanza (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Tegucigalpa Honduras Loarque (11 wards, 1 branch)
MEXICO
  • Amecameca Mexico (11 wards)
  • Celaya Mexico (11 wards)
  • Chalco Mexico (10 wards)
  • Chilpancingo Mexico (10 wards, 4 branches)
  • Coatzacoalcos Mexico Puerto (13 wards, 1 branch)
  • Culiacan Mexico (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Juchitan Mexico (10 wards, 3 branches) 
  • Mexico City Anahuac (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Chapultepec (10 wards)
  • Mexico City Cuautitlan (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Culturas (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Iztapalapa (10 wards)
  • Mexico City La Perla (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • Mexico City Tecamac (11 wards)
  • Mexico City Tepalcapa (11 wards)
  • Oaxaca Mexico Monte Alban (10 wards, 3 branches)
  • Puebla México La Libertad (10 wards) 
  • Puebla México Mayorazgo (10 wards)
  • Veracruz Mexico Villa Rica (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Villahermosa Mexico Gaviotas (10 wards, 1 branch)
OCEANIA
  • Ha'apai Tonga (9 wards, 5 branches) 
  • Punaauia Tahiti (11 wards)
  • Upolu Samoa East (9 wards, 1 branch)
SOUTH AMERICA
  • Belém Brazil (9 wards)
  • Belém Brazil Icoaraci (9 wards)
  • Buenos Aires Argentina Castelar (10 wards)
  • Joao Pessoa Brazil Rangel (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Lima Peru Canto Grande (10 wards)
  • Rio Branco Brazil (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • Santa Maria Brazil (10 wards, 1 branch)
  • São José Brazil (9 wards, 1 branch)
  • São José dos Campos Brazil (10 wards)
  • São Paulo Brazil Casa Grande (9 wards)
  • São Paulo Brazil Guarapiranga (10 wards)
  • São Paulo Brazil Penha (10 wards) 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Most Thorough Analysis of LDS Growth in Cote d'Ivoire Ever Conducted

I know the title of this post may sound a bit boastful, but I have worked for the past five months on this extensive analysis of LDS growth in the West African nation of Cote d'Ivoire. Read the case study here. Comments, feedback, and discussion would be appreciated!

Monday, November 7, 2016

New Stakes Created in Ecuador, Ghana, Massachusetts, and Texas: New Districts Created in the DR Congo and Ghana; District Discontinued in Italy

Ecuador
The Church organized a new stake in Ecuador on October 9th. The Otavalo Ecuador Imbaya Stake was organized from the division of the Otavalo Ecuador Imbabura (organized in 1997) and Otavalo Ecuador (organized in 1981) Stakes. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Carabuela, Centenario, Cotacachi, Cotama, Imbaya, and Punyaro Wards. The small city of Otavalo is located in the heart of the homelands of the Otavalo (Imbabura Highland) Quichua Amerindians. The Otavalo people have numbered among the most receptive to LDS proselytism in Latin America. Missionaries report that stakes in the city of Otavalo number among the most self-sufficient in Ecuador and have some of the highest activity rates in Latin America.

A case study that examines LDS growth among the Otavalo can be found here.

Ghana
The Church organized a new stake in Ghana on November 6th. The Kumasi Ghana Asokwa Stake was organized from a division of the Kumasi Ghana Bantama (organized in 1998) and Kumasi Ghana Dichemso (organized in 2013) Stakes. The new stake includes the follow seven wards and seven branches: the Ahenbronum, Asokwa, Ayigya, Freetown, Kwamo, Lowcost, and University Wards, and the Ahyiaem, Aputuogya, Asokore Mampong, Atonsu, Domeabra, Ejisu, and Kentinkrono Branches. The Church has never appeared to organize a new stake with as many congregations in modern times as there are 14 units in the new stake. It appears that the Church has organized the new stake with such a large number of units in preparation to create a separate stake in Konongo one day. There are three wards and two branches in the Konongo area.

The Church organized a new district in Ghana on October 30th. The Tarkwa Ghana District was organized from four mission branches in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission. The branches in the new district include the Axim, Brenu-Akyirim, Nkroful, and Tarkwa Branches.

There are now 18 stakes and 12 districts in Ghana.

Massachusetts
The Church organized a new stake in Massachusetts on November 6th. The North Shore Massachusetts Stake was organized from a division of the Cambridge Massachusetts (organized in 1998), Exeter New Hampshire (organized in 1981), and Nashua New Hampshire (organized in 1970) Stakes. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Billerica, Lawrence,  (Spanish), Lynnfield, Methuen, Revere 1st (Spanish), and Revere 2nd Wards, and the Lynn Branch (Spanish).

There are now five stakes in Massachusetts.

Texas
The Church organized a new stake in Texas on November 6th. The Fort Worth Texas North Stake was organized from a division of the Hurst Texas Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Fossil Ridge, Highland Station, Hurst 3rd (Spanish), Park Glen 1st, Park Glen 2nd, and Saginaw Wards.

There are now 72 stakes and three districts in Texas.

DR Congo
The Church organized a new district in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on November 6th. The Ngandajika Democratic Republic of the Congo District was organized from a division of the Luputa Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake (organized in 2011). The new district includes the following four branches: the Kabanda, Kalubanda, Ngandajika, and Tshioji Branches.

There are now 16 stakes and three districts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Italy
The Church recently discontinued a district in Italy. Organized in 1991, the Calabria Italy District was discontinued and its former branches were reassigned to the Puglia Italy Stake and Palermo Italy Stake. Most of the branches in the former district have reported few active members for many years. With the closure of the district, the Church currently reports no districts in Italy for the first time in its history.

There are now 10 stakes in Italy.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Is the LDS Church Growing?

I am frequently asked by interested readers, news media, and personal contacts whether the LDS Church is actually growing or not. This is a complex question to answer in regards to what measurements are examined, the analysis of growth trends over time, and whether growth is examined in a specific area or for the Church as a whole. The following will provide an overview of the most salient findings that suggest the worldwide Church is growing, or experiencing stagnation or decline. A previous analysis from 2012 can be found here.

Here are some statistics that indicate the Church is growing:
  • Increases in the number of countries with stakes: 
    • Since 2010, there have been 20 countries where the Church has organized its first stake. There has never been a time in LDS history when as many countries have had their first stakes organized within as short of a period of time.
  • Increases in the number of countries assigned to missions:
    • The number of countries assigned to missions has steadily increased since 2010. Examples of countries assigned to missions during this time include Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • Increases in the worldwide number of active members:
    • Although no official statistics are available, the number of active members in the Church has appeared to steadily increase within recent years as evidenced by the organization of new stakes and congregations. A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribute quotes a church spokesman who notes that "upward growth has continued."
  • Steady increases in the worldwide number of stakes:
    • Stake growth has not only been sustained in recent years, but it has accelerated. The number of new stakes organized totaled 48 in 2013, 64 in 2014, 67 in 2015, and 80 thus far in 2016. The annual percentage growth rate for stakes has also increased from 1.5% in 2013 to at least 2.5% in 2016.
  • Steady increases in the worldwide number of temples:
    • The number of temples announced, under construction, or in operation continues to increase. For example, there were 102 operating temples at year-end 2000. There will be 155 operating temples by year-end 2016.
  • Increases in the number of nations with full-time missionaries assigned:
    • Many countries have had young, full-time missionaries assigned for the first time since 2010. Notable examples include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burma (Myanmar), Burundi (until mid-2015 when missionaries were removed due to civil unrest), Gabon, Kosovo, Laos, Macedonia, Montenegro, Rwanda, and Turkey.
  • Increases in the number of cities with an LDS presence:
    • The Church has organized new congregations in previously unreached cities at a more rapid rate than the number of cities where the only LDS congregation has closed. 
  • Improvements in commensurate membership and congregational growth:
    •  Membership and congregational growth rates for the worldwide church have become more proportional. Congregational growth was a mere 1/5 the rate of membership growth in 2011, whereas congregational growth was 4/5 the rate of membership growth in 2015. This finding signals improvements in convert retention and member activity.

Here are some statistics that indicate LDS growth is stagnant or declining:
  • Slow congregational growth rates for the worldwide Church:
    • Congregational growth rates have been very slow for the Church as a whole, ranging from 0.4-1.3% within the past eight years. As the world's population currently grows by 1.08% a year, it appears that the Church's congregational growth in comparison to the world's population growth has been nearly equal during this time. 
  • Steady net decreases in the number of districts:
    • The number of districts has declined every year since 2009. The number of districts has decreased from 622 in 2008 to approximately 551 at present. As district growth is a strong indicator of the expansion of the Church into lesser-reached areas, this finding suggests a slowdown in the expansion of the Church into additional areas.
  • Decrease in the percentage of full-time missionaries in general church membership
    • The percentage of full-time missionaries among general church membership declined from 0.64% in 1977 to 0.37% in 2010, and increased to 0.47% in 2015.
  • No noticeable change in the number of converts baptized a year
    • The Church has reported essentially no significant change in the number of converts baptized each year. The Church has baptized an average of 277,000 converts a year since 2010. To contrast, the Church baptized an average of 287,000 converts a year between 1988 and 2009. The average number of converts baptized per missionary declined from 8.0 in 1989 to approximately 5.0 in 2011 and 3.5 in 2015.
  • Stagnant increases with the number of children of record
    • The increase of children of record has not significantly increased over the past 35 years. The Church reported an increase of 124,000 children of record in 1982 - more than any year since this time. The Church has generally reported an annual increase of children of record between 110,000-120,000 since 2008.
  • Decreasing membership growth rates
    • The Church's annual membership growth rate has steadily declined within the past 15 years from 2.9% in 2000 to 2.3% in 2003, 2.0% in 2013, and 1.7% in 2015. 
  • Lack of growth in seminary and institute enrollment
    • Seminary and institute enrollment has fluctuated from approximately 700,000 to 760,000 within the past 15 years despite an increase of more than four million members during this period.
  • Decrease in the number of MTCs:
    • The Church has reported a net decrease in the number of missionary training centers during the past 20 years. MTCs have closed in Japan, Korea, Samoa, and Tonga.
  • Decrease in the number of church areas:
    • The Church has reported a net decrease in administrative areas from 30 in 2003 to 25 in 2012.