Saturday, December 5, 2009

District and Branch Growth

One of the interesting phenomenons in the Church that has arisen in the past 60 years are long periods of time in which there is a steady increase in wards but no increase or a decrease in the number of branches. Such a trend has occurred from the early 1950s to 1986 and since 2000. At the end of 2000 there were 17,994 wards and 7,927 branches worldwide. Currently there are about 20,506 wards and 7,821 branches in countries in which the Church publishes its presence. The number of branches worldwide is likely around 7,930. Between 2000 and the beginning of December 2009, the number of wards increased by 2,512 while the number of branches remained nearly unchanged.

The number of districts in the Church has changed with the number of branches. By the end of 2000 there were 621 districts. At the end of 2008 there were 622 districts. Reasons for periods of no increase in the number of districts and branches is due to the district/branch creation rate equaling the rate at which districts turn into stakes, branches turn into wards, or districts and branches being discontinued.

An increase in districts and branches is of great interest in studying the growth of the Church because these typically indicate the Church moving into unreached areas of the world and establishing a local leadership presence. However a steady increase in districts and branches can also indicate that the Church in unable to mature enough in areas of the world for these to turn into stakes and wards.

In 2009 we have seen the most new districts organized in the Church since 2004. So far in 2009 we have had more districts created from mission branches than any year since the 1990s. There have been at least 20 new districts organized this year, 17 of which were from mission branches in areas in which the Church is just beginning to develop local leadership and greater membership strength. Below is a list of the known new districts created this year and previous years back to 2001. Districts which were created from a portion of an operating stake are in italics and new districts created from the portion of a discontinued stake are in bold. Districts which have since been discontinued are in red.


  1. Chişinau Moldova
  2. Arad Romania
  3. Cayenne French Guiana
  4. Oron Nigeria
  5. Ikot Ekpene Nigeria
  6. Yamoussoukro Côte d'Ivoire
  7. Miskolc Hungary
  8. Szombathely Hungary
  9. Bloemfontein South Africa
  10. Konongo Ghana
  11. Chennai India
  12. Coimbatore India
  13. Visakhapatnam India
  14. Sousa Brazil
  15. Baler Philippines
  16. Bonao Dominican Republic
  17. Cotuí Dominican Republic
  18. La Vega Dominican Republic
  19. Baghdad Iraq Military
  20. Addis Ababa Ethiopia
  21. Tzaneen South Africa
  22. Sibu East Malaysia
  23. Okrika Nigeria
  1. Pinotepa México
  2. Planaltina Brazil
  3. Caruaru Brazil
  4. Mamanguape Brazil
  5. Mbabane Swaziland
  6. Newcastle South Africa
  7. Miri East Malaysia
  8. Shanghai China International (English)
  9. Kabul Afghanistan Military
  10. Rigo Papua New Guinea
  11. Andahuayles Peru
  12. Huancavelica Peru
  13. Yerevan Armenia South
  14. Ibiono Nigeria

  1. Abomosu Ghana
  2. Richards Bay South Africa
  3. Sogod Philippines
  4. Ulsan South Korea
  5. Monte Plata Dominican Republic
  6. Oldenburg Germany
  7. Nicosia Cyprus
  1. Ponte Nova Brazil
  2. Teofilo Otoni Brazil
  3. Asaba Nigeria
  4. Luputa Democratic Republic of Congo
  5. Esteli Nicaragua
  6. Juigalpa Nicaragua
  7. Moscow Russia West
  8. Rafaela Argentina
  1. Juaziero Brazil
  2. Gramado Brazil
  3. Okpuala Ngwa Nigeria
  4. Dar es Salaam Tanzania
  5. Kitwe Zambia
  6. Gonzaga Philippines
  7. Burgos Philippines
  8. Roxas Philippines Isabela
  9. Kampong Cham Cambodia
  10. Calabozo Venezuela
  11. Canje Guyana
  12. Mariano Roque Alonso Paraguay
  13. Alto Hospicio Chile
  14. Esquel Argentina
  15. Erfurt Germany
  1. Izucar de Matamoros Mexico
  2. Chahuites Mexico
  3. Ariquemes Brazil
  4. Pouso Alegre Brazil
  5. Goiana Brazil
  6. Jequie Brazil
  7. Lagarto Brazil
  8. Palmares Brazil
  9. Parnaiba Brazil
  10. Agoo Philippines
  11. Baliwag Philippines
  12. Bongabon Philippines
  13. La Caroleta Philippines
  14. Curacao Netherlands Antilles
  15. Oranjestad Aruba
  16. Paramaribo Suriname
  17. Caleta Olivia Argentina
  18. Santa Teresita Argentina
  19. Tres Arroyos Argentina
  20. Managua Nicaragua Tipitapa
  21. Togliatti Russia
  22. Katowice Poland
  23. Basse Terre Saint Kitts and Nevis
  1. Guanajuato Mexico
  2. Akure Nigeria
  3. Beira Mozambique
  4. Gweru Zimbabwe
  5. Kananga Democratic Republic of Congo
  6. Lusaka Zambia
  7. Maputo Mozambique
  8. Ballestros Philippines
  9. Bauang Philippines
  10. Camiling Philippines East
  11. Camiling Philippines West
  12. Mangaldan Philippines
  13. Mapandan Philippines
  14. Ipoh Malaysia
  15. Kuching East Malaysia
  16. Georgetown Guyana
  17. Coyhaique Chile
  18. La Union Chile
  19. Gualeguaychu Argentina
  20. Fort Stockton Texas
  21. Aracati Brazil
  1. Bangui Philippines
  2. Bambang Philippines
  3. Vigan Philippines
  4. Phnom Penh Cambodia South
  5. Gerehu Papua New Guinea
  6. Goroka Papua New Guinea
  7. Kuriva Papua New Guinea
  8. Oro Papua New Guinea
  9. El Triunfo Ecuador
  10. Riberalta Bolivia
  11. Puerto Suarez Bolivia
  12. Coquimbo Chile
  13. Coronel Chile
  14. Lebu Chile
  15. Linares Chile
  16. Melipilla Chile
  17. Ovalle Chile
  18. Parral Chile
  19. San Fernando Chile
  20. Talagante Chile
  21. Vaiparaiso Chile West
  22. Canada de Gomez Argentina
  23. Volgograd Russia
  24. Basse-Terre Guadeloupe
  25. Christ Church Barbados
  26. Linstead Jamaica
  27. Montego Bay Jamaica
  28. New Providence Bahamas
  29. Likasi Democratic Republic of Congo
  30. Itapeva Brazil District
  1. Pirassununga Brazil
  2. Sao Borja Brazil
  3. Sao Gabriel Brazil
  4. Aguilar Philippines
  5. Bangued Philippines
  6. Biliran Philippines
  7. Calasiao Philippines
  8. Phnom Penh Cambodia Central (Vietnamese)
  9. Jeju Korea
  10. Carupano Venezuela
  11. La Paz Argentina
  12. Ushuaia Argentina
  13. Krasnoyarsk Russia
  14. Omsk Russia
  15. Nueva Tolten Chile


andrew said...

So are you suggesting that between 1986 and 2000 the church went into a lot of new ares of the world ?(like the eastern bloc, parts of Asia and Africa, etc.).

Matt said...

Yes, I am. This was when most of the Church's current presence in Africa, Eastern Europe, and many Asian countries was established. I am also suggesting that the Church is currently going into a lot of new areas, or that the Church is being more firmly established in areas it has recently been established in.

rfelsted said...

To: Matt,

Thanks very much for this report. I have wanted to know the history of recent districts for a long time and it is great to have a chronological breakdown of new districts.

I also appreciate how you showed districts taken from existing stakes, created from parts of discontinued stakes, and districts that have been discontinued.

This information has been available nowhere until now and thanks again for all your work.

One question... Have you worked up the number of branches in these districts and other districts created earlier? It would be a good indication of potential new stakes.

Brandon Plewe said...

Thanks, I was missing a couple. You were also missing two (that you've mentioned before): La Vega DR and Kabul Military

Gnesileah said...

As always, great job, Matt, and thank you.

In addition to the La Vega Dominican Republic and Kabul Afghanistan Military Districts, I think these districts are also missing from the list: Nueva Tolten Chile (2001), Likasi Democratic Republic of Congo (2002), Itapeva Brazil (2002), and Rafaela Argentina (2006).

rfelsted said...

To Matt:

It's interesting to note that in the 7 days since you wrote this there have been 2 more districts created in Malaysia and Nigeria, making 22 for the year so far. It just goes to show us how fast Church growth is taking place now.

Matt said...

Thanks for the input and corrections. I added the missing districts and the two new ones we found out about in the past week.