Monday, April 11, 2011

Membership By Country Statistics Released For 2010

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  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 2010 are listed below. Lists for nations with the most rapid membership growth rates are also available for 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. 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 2010. Countries in bold experienced a membership increase greater than 200.
  1. Botswana - 35.4% - 1,331
  2. Madagascar - 22.1% - 6,736
  3. Turkey - 21.5% - 254
  4. Togo - 20.5% - 1,246
  5. Grenada - 20.4% - 230
  6. Slovakia - 19.9% - 193
  7. Cameroon - 19.0% - 1,003
  8. Ethiopia - 18.6% - 1,125
  9. Cambodia - 18.2% - 10,530
  10. French Guiana - 16.5% - 368
  11. Malawi - 15.9% - 925
  12. Saint Kitts and Nevis - 15.9% - 197
  13. Kazakhstan - 14.9% - 162
  14. Democratic Republic of Congo - 14.6% - 27,058
  15. Malaysia - 14.2% - 7,314
  16. Benin - 13.9% - 229
  17. Singapore - 13.6% - 3,337
  18. Namibia - 13.4% - 686
  19. Georgia - 13% - 208
  20. Angola - 12.2% - 932
Among these 20 nations, 10 are in Africa, 6 are in Asia, and three are in the Caribbean.  Countries listed above with the highest increase in membership include the Democractic Republic of Congo (3,443),  Cambodia (1,622), and Madagascar (1,220).  Overall annual membership growth rates in 2010 appeared higher than 2009 levels in most nations with fewer than 20,000 members as there were 57 countries or territories that experienced at least a 5% growth rates in 2010 compared to just 45 countries in 2009.  Countries not listed in the top 20 countries with the highest membership growth rates with over 1,000 members, annual membership growth rates of 5% or greater, and experienced a noticeable increase in the annual membership growth rate between 2009 and 2010 include Ghana (6.9% to 10.3%), Vanuatu (5.9% to 8.7%), Guam (5.2% to 8.6%), Swaziland (4.9% to 8.4%), Sierra Leone (3.4% to 6.9%), Tonga (0.9% to 6.6%), and Zimbabwe (2.3% to 5.2%).  Countries with over 1,000 members that experienced a noticeable decline in the annual membership growth rate in 2010 include  Togo (30.4% to 20.5%), Uganda (18.8% to 9.8%), Suriname (9.9% to 6.1%), and Guyana (23.2% to 3.5%).

Below is a list of the 10 nations (excluding the United States) which experienced the greatest increase in membership in 2010. 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, and 2009.  44% of 2010 LDS membership increase can be attributed to the following 10 nations.
  1. Mexico - 36,972 - 12.1%
  2. Brazil - 36,066 - 11.8%
  3. Philippines - 13,891 - 4.5%
  4. Peru - 12,747 - 4.2%
  5. Argentina - 8,724 - 2.8%
  6. Honduras - 5,850 - 1.9%
  7. Guatemala - 5,731 - 1.9%
  8. Ecuador - 5,443 - 1.8%
  9. Nigeria - 4,827 - 1.6%
  10. Nicaragua - 4,613 - 1.5%
Here are a few observations about 2010 annual membership growth rates by country compared to past years:
  • Increasing membership in nations with the largest numbers of Latter-day Saints are accounting for smaller percentages of total church membership increase as membership growth has accelerated in countries with fewer members
  • Some nations which have experienced many years of stagnant or very slow membership growth experienced greater growth in 2010, such as Singapore, Norway, and Mauritius.  
  • Convert retention rates vary widely.  Although Mexico and Brazil had comparably-sized increases in membership, the number of congregations increased by 40 in Brazil whereas the number of congregations increased by only two in Mexico.
  • Most nations reporting the most rapid membership growth are experiencing moderate to high convert retention.  Madagascar and the DR Congo reported impressive gains in the number of new congregations in 2010.  
I will provide an analysis on congregational growth in 2010 by country in the coming days.


Brandon Plewe said...

matt, I think you put far too much emphasis on congregational growth as an indicator of retention. yes, there is a sense of an ideal size for wards, stakes, and branches, but it is not a set number, it varies significantly by region, and it has a huge amount lf elasticity.

For example, a new mission area may start with very small branches. To build leadership strength, those branches may grow to be rather large before being divided, even with high retention. So memberhip could be 3-4x with same. umber of branches.

Yes, comparing membership growth to congregation growth correlates to retention, but I'll bet if we had the real stats, the correlation would not be terribly strong.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

Falkland Islands: 100% - 10

: )

Jeff said...

Did anyone get the new Republic of Congo membership number before the page stopped working?

Jeff said...

Anyone else notice a substantial jump in the number of unassigned members in this year's totals? Unless I copied some things wrong, I came up with 50,883, although around 5,000 of those are in Republic of Congo (link is still dead on the church website). 45,000 unassigned members is much higher than the 9,400 and 9,600 of the past two years. Does anyone have an explanation?

Deivisas said...

Israel's numbers (was 234 in 2009) are also currently not published as well as the following countries and territories:
Netherlands Antilles (was 847 in 2009), Saint Vincent (was 454 in 2009), Rwanda (was 44 in 2009).

On the other hand the Virgin Islands was published this year at 570 members for 2010, and it was not on the site for 2009 when I last checked.

P. S. Republic of the Congo was 4,462 for 2009.

Gnesileah said...

Membership numbers are no longer included for The Netherlands Antilles because it was dissolved on October 10, 2010. It's former territory now consists of the Dutch constituent countries of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (similar to the current status of Aruba), as well as the Dutch municipal areas of Bonaire, Saba, and Saint Eustatius.

Matt said...


With adjusted estimates for countries that have had past LDS membership totals reported, I calculated approximately 19,400 members residing in unaccounted countries. I imagine that the breakdown for the 19,400 is as follows:

China: 8,000-10,000
Arabian Peninsula: 3,000
Pakistan: 2,500-2,700
Iraq: 1,600
Afghanistan: 700
Other Asian nations: 1,000
Belarus: 600

Matt said...


Monitoring congregational growth rates to ascertain convert retention and member activity rates is not a perfect indicator as you mentioned considering the ratio of members to congregations in some nations with few members and low activity rates spread over large geographical areas appear to have higher member activity rates (like Russia). However increasing numbers of congregations year to year indicate efforts by mission leaders to expand national outreach, maturation of local leadership sufficient to staff additional congregations, and member activity rates warranting the creation of congregations. Unfortunately we have no reliable method for deducing increasing numbers of active members in congregations, but monitoring enrollment in seminary and institute is an approach that provides some insight. Then again, many large LDS congregations outside the United States do not necessary equate to a center of strength as leadership development challenges have likely delayed the creation of additional congregations in the given area. Full-time missionary reports and local member reports appear the most reliable means of ascertaining member activity by congregation, but unfortunately these reports are very limited for most nations.

Tom said...

A new congregation has been established in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; taking the total up to 102 now.

J S Oldroyd said...


Great job with this blog. There is so much information! I am an economics student at BYU and am interested in doing a econometrics project for a class to look at factors that affect church growth. I am in need of data. Where do you get your data? How can I get it?

I would really love any help. You can e-mail me at and I will explain more what I am thinking and what I need.