Sunday, September 6, 2009

Metropolitan Areas With The Most Stakes

One of the greatest strengths to the Church is when many Church members live in the same city. When concentrated in a particular geographic place, members of the Church are usually more easily able to fellowship one another and help build up the Church through living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Close proximity and large populations allows for the Church to preach the Gospel message to a greater number of people in a shorter amount of time than in rural areas, where more time is spent traveling from place to place to teach fewer individuals and families. Members of the Church concentrated in cities also facilitates the building and operation of temples and the creation of stakes.

There are 36 cities in the world with at least 10 stakes in their metropolitan areas. Out of these 36 cities only two do not have a temple: Fortaleza, Brazil (which has 13 stakes) and Pocatello, Idaho (which has 11 stakes). There are some interesting comparisons we can make with the data below. For instance, if the ratio of stakes to population in Mexico City were the same as Salt Lake City, there would be a total of 2,804 stakes in Mexico City which is about how many stakes there are in the entire Church. Another interesting hypothetical situation is if the ratio of stakes to population in Salt Lake City were the same as the ratio of stakes to population in Mexico City there would be only three stakes in Salt Lake City!

Some of the metropolitan area populations are estimated (particularly for Utah) due to the large number of small towns in their peripheries. Most of the population data comes from or Census Bureau estimates. Most suburbs or neighboring cities less than 30 or so miles away from the named metropolitan city are included in metropolitan population and stake numbers. What constitutes a metropolitan area is up to debate, but is best to be thought of as a conglomeration of urban neighborhoods and population centers.

Click on the table below to view.


rfelsted said...

Thanks for this informations. There's been amazing growth in some of these metropolitan areas.

rfelsted said...

"...information," not "informations." Sorry!

Fcosta said...

The Sao Paulo Brazil Cotia Stake was organized two days ago. Counting this stake, the Sao Paulo Metropolitan areas has 37 stakes likely Lima, Peru.

Matt said...

I forgot to list Auckland, New Zealand in this list. Auckland has 10 stakes and a population of 1.33 million.

rfelsted said...

I compiled a list of the top US metropolitan areas using counties included in the "Metropolitan Statistical Areas" of major US cities in 2005.

I used census estimates for July 1 2005, and year-end 2005 membership figures for those counties provided by the Information Management Dept. of the Church.

Unfortunately this county information is not available for more recent years. Ranking is by percfentage LDS, largest to smallest.

1. Las Vegas population 1,710,551
membership 129,720, 7.58%
2. Phoenix, 3,865,077, 228,207, 5.90%
3. Portland OR 2,095,861, 92,724, 4.42%
4. Seattle, 3,203,314, 105,154, 3.28%
5. Sacramento,2,042,283, 65,089, 3.19%
6. Riverside, San Bernardino, 3,909,954, 101,823, 2.60%
7. Denver, 2,359,994, 55,229, 2.44%
8. San Diego, 2,933,462, 70,662, 2.41%
9. Los Angeles, 17,629,627, 342,213, 1.94%
10. San Francisco (inc. San Jose), 7,169,553, 118,004, 1.65%
11. San Jose, 1,754,988, 25,307, 1.44%
12. Kansas City,1,947,694, 26,466, 1.36%
13. San Antonio,1,889,797, 22,309, 1.18%
14. Houston, 5,280,077, 57,333, 1.09%
15. Dallas, 5,819,475, 62,433, 1.07%
16. Washington D.C., 5,214,666, 54,882, 1.05%
17. Orlando, 1,933,255, 15,391,
18. Atlanta, 4.917,717, 35,037, 0.71%
19. St. Louis, 2,778,518, 16,924, 0.61%
20. Tampa, 2,647,658, 15,579, 0.59%
21. Minneapolis, 3,142,779, 17,652, 0.56%
22. Cincinnati, 2,020,441, 10,956, 0.53%
23. Miami, 5,422,200, 27,139, 0.50%
24.Baltimore, 2,655,675, 12,918, 0.49%
25. Detroit, 4,488,335, 20,198, 0.45%
26. Boston, 4,411,835, 18,304, 0.41%
27. Cleveland, 2,126,318, 8,109, 0.38%
28. Chicago, 9,443,356, 33,188, 0.35%
29. Philadelphia, 5,823,233, 18,568, 0.32%
30. Pittsburgh, 2,386,074, 7,521, 0.32%
31. New York, 18,747,320, 44,631, 0.24%
(skipping #32- #49)
50. Salt Lake City (Salt Lake, Summit, and Tooele Cos.), 1034,484, 636,481, 61.53%

It appears Kansas City has the highese percentage for a Midwest city and Washington D.C. the highest for an Eastern city. This information is avail for 2005 for all 360 US Metropolitan Areas.

I expanded the Los Angeles and San Francisco Met. Areas and need to go back and shrink them to the correct counties (e.g. LA should have been LA and Orange Cos. only). Thanks, Ray.

rfelsted said...

"percfentage" should be "percentage"

rfelsted said...

When I list Salt Lake City as #50, that is its ranking as a national metropolitan area.

The other 31 cities are the largest31 Met. areas of the country but ranked in order of LDS membership percentage. The reason I went to #31 is that I wanted to include New York in the list and it had the lowest LDS percentage of the top 31 metropolitan areas.