Sunday, May 1, 2011

LDS Congregational Growth: 2000-2010

The creation of new congregations is a good indicator for assessing the strength of local leadership, member activity rates, and expansion of national outreach.  I have provided an analysis of congregational growth between 2000 and 2010 by country examining numerical and percentage change.  The country name is provided followed by the numerical or percentage change in congregations between 2000 and 2010.  The number to the far right is the total number of LDS congregations as of the end of 2010.

The ten countries which experienced the largest increases in the number of LDS congregations between 2000 and 2010 included: 
  1. United States - +2,039 - 13,601
  2. Mexico - +237 - 2,009
  3. Brazil - +162 - 1,925
  4. Nigeria - +112 - 306
  5. Ghana - +59 - 121
  6. Democratic Republic of Congo - +58 - 95
  7. Venezuela - +53 - 274
  8. Argentina - +49 - 841
  9. South Africa - +47 - 147
  10. Papua New Guinea - +34 - 65
The ten countries which experienced the greatest decline in the number of LDS congregations between 2000 and 2010 included:
  1. Chile - -260 - 620
  2. Philippines - -57 - 1,100
  3. Guatemala - -36 - 415
  4. Panama - -32 - 78
  5. United Kingdom - -32 - 333
  6. South Korea - -31 - 139
  7. Japan - -31 - 286
  8. Ecuador - -31 - 300
  9. Italy - -30 - 99
  10. Portugal - -19 - 68
The ten countries which experienced the greatest percentage increase in congregational growth between 2000 and 2010 included:
  1. Suriname - +500% - 6
  2. Togo - +400% - 5
  3. Cameroon - +400% -5
  4. Ethiopia - +300% - 4
  5. Guyana - +275% - 15
  6. Mozambique - +260% - 18
  7. Madagascar - +250% - 28
  8. Vanuatu - +189% - 26
  9. Cote d'Ivoire - +159% - 44
  10. Democratic Republic of Congo - +157% - 95
The ten countries which experienced the greatest percentage decrease in congregations between 2000 and 2010 included:
  1. Niue - -50% - 2
  2. Belgium - -35% - 17
  3. Chile - -30% - 620
  4. Panama - -29% - 78
  5. Poland - -28% - 13
  6. Italy - -23% - 99
  7. Netherlands - -23% - 13
  8. Austria - -23% - 17
  9. Portugal - -22% - 68
  10. Sweden - -22% - 40
Countries which had no reported LDS congregations operating in 2000 but had LDS congregations in 2010 included:
  • Iraq - 6 branches
  • Afghanistan - 5 branches
  • Benin - 3 branches
  • Georgia - 2 branches
  • St. Lucia - 2 branches
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina - 1 branch
  • Burma - 1 branch
  • Burundi - 1 branch
  • Djibouti - 1 branch
  • Dominica - 1 branch
  • Kazakhstan - 1 branch
  • Kosovo - 1 branch
  • Laos - 1 branch
  • Macedonia - 1 branch (administrative)
  • Montenegro - 1 branch (administrative)
  • Nepal - 1 branch
  • Rwanda - 1 branch
  • Sudan - 1 branch
  • Turks and Caicos Islands - 1 branch

5 comments:

Jeff said...

Thanks for posting.

Is there any correlation between member activity rates and proximity of an LDS temple?

Matt said...

That's a difficult question Jeff. Often higher member activity rates merit the announcement of a temple in a given area but the construction of a new temple often does not significantly affect member activity rates in a given area. There is often increased reactivation successes with temple open houses, but the long-term effects of these efforts are mixed.

Tom said...

Another new branch has been created in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, taking the total up to 102.

This is an increase of 7 already since the statistical report.

2.5 said...

Matt,
what is the main cause of decline in Chile and the Phillippines? In the 90s, those countries grew faster than our abilities to absorb.

Does the shrinkage merely reflect consolidation for strategic purposes, or an actual decline in active membership?

Matt said...

The Church is not declining in Chile and the Philippines. Annual membership growth rates slowed substantially in both countries during the first half of the 2000s but in recent years have begun to increase again. As for the decline in the number of congregations, this primarily occurred because congregations were organized with few active members. Many wards in Chile appeared to have 50 or fewer active members in the late 1990s whereas today many wards have between 100 and 200 active members. Congregational decline ended in both countries in the late 2000s and in recent years as begun to slowly increase again, signifying a stabilization of leadership and a move toward expanding national outreach as opposed to consolidating units for centers of strengths. Nevertheless, serious member activity challenges remain in both nations.