Saturday, March 31, 2012

2011 Statistical Report Released

The Church released its statistical report for 2011 in General Conference today.  Below is a summary of church statistics reported in comparison with the statistical report for 2010:
  • Membership: 14,441,346 (increase of 309,879 from 2010; a 2.19% annual increase)
  • Congregations: 28,784 (increase of 124 from 2010; a 0.43% annual increase)
  • Stakes: 2,946 (increase of 50 from 2010; a 1.73% annual increase)
  • Districts: 608 (a decrease of six from 2010; a 0.98% annual decrease)
  • Convert Baptisms: 281,312 (increase of 8,498 from 2010; a 3.11% annual increase)
  • Increase of Children on Record: 119,917 (decrease of 611 from 2010; a 0.51% annual decrease)
  • Full-time missionaries: 55,410 (increase of 3,185 from 2010; a 6.1% annual increase)
  • Church service missionaries: 22,299 (increase of 1,486 from 2010; a 7.1% annual increase)
The surge in the number of members serving full-time missions was the greatest change in the statistical report for 2011 compared to statistical reports for years within the past decade.  If this trend is sustained for 2012, the Church may be able to make greater headway in opening additional areas of the world to proselytism without significantly redistributing available mission resources from less productive areas.  The increase in the number of stakes in 2011 was greater than any year for the Church since 1998.  The number of converts baptized increased slightly from previous years in the past decade and the increase of children on record was sustained around 120,000 which has been the average for the past few years.  The number of church service missionaries also significantly increased.

The most concerning statistic reported for 2011 was the number of congregations; a mere 124 more than 2010.  Few new congregations organized during 2011 suggests ongoing convert retention problems.  Commensurate congregational and membership growth rates suggests high convert retention whereas in 2011, the percentage growth in membership was five times greater than that for wards and branches.  One cause for significantly reduced number of new congregations organized in 2011 was the consolidation of scores of YSA wards and branches in Utah and Idaho in preparation to create YSA stakes.  However, even if these consolidations had not occurred, the increase in units would still have been lower than any year since the early 2000s.

10 comments:

Matthias said...

What was the last year with so few new congregations when you factor out the YSA wards?

Matthias said...

Also, to what do you attribute the surge in missionaries? It is a factor of birthrates from 1991-93? A surge in seniors?

Matt said...

2003 was the last year when the increase in the number of wards and branches was less than 2011 as the increase in the number of wards and branches was only 94. I would imagine that the total increase in wards and branches for 2011 was about 200 when excluding the consolidated YSA units.

It is unclear what has caused the unexpected increase of more than 3,000 missionaries in 2011. I have no indication that this would be due to senior missionaries serving in greater numbers. I would imagine that this is a combination of perhaps a small increase in the percentage of mission-aged young adults serving missions and larger numbers of converts outside the United States serving missions. There does not appear to be any major change in birthrates 20 years ago that would explain this increase.

Matthias said...

"I would imagine that this is a combination of perhaps a small increase in the percentage of mission-aged young adults serving missions and larger numbers of converts outside the United States serving missions. There does not appear to be any major change in birthrates 20 years ago that would explain this increase."

Well, if it's either of those things it's a wonderful development.

Jason Jackson said...

A apocrythal source claims the number of missionaries will hit 70,000 in 3 years time

tyler said...

RETENTION!!

I still feel like the missionaries and members I meet (currently living in Kenya) don't quite grasp the problem. Our ward is doing better than some, but still not very good. Many don't even know what the retention rate is!

Rob said...

In measuring the growth of the Church, I had thought that a more accurate, but less precise measure than membership was the number of stakes; you can't create a new stake with inactive members.

I was encouraged when I heard the number of stakes had grown by 50. After reading this post, however, I'm disappointed and a little confused. How can you have such a sharp increase in number of stakes with such anemic growth in number of wards and branches?

Rob said...

And to Jason's comment, Elder Holland said as much during his visit to Harvard. I'm not sure if that was during his main speech or in the Q&A that followed, but both can be found on the Church's website.

Matt said...

There are two main answers to how the percentage stake growth can outpace congregational growth. First, there are several stakes created each year which were formerly districts. In this situation, the number of congregations reported stays the same because branches simply become wards. Second, many countries have had congregational growth outpace stake growth over the past decade. I once calculated what this number actually came out to and it was something like the average stake in the United States had 0.2 more wards in 2010 than in 2000 (6.9 wards per stake in 2000 to 7.1 wards per stake in 2010). 2011 could be a year where stake growth is just making up for lagging behind ward growth over the past decade. Another answer is supposing that the Church is creating stakes with fewer congregations than in the past, but this has not been the case as most stakes nowadays have at least six wards and at times have as many as eight or nine wards when they are first organized.

Ray said...

March and year-to-date Church growth as reported in the CDOL:

March: + 12 (net) congregations (+29 wards, - 17 branches); + 7 stakes and + 1 (net) district (+ 4 districts, - 3 districts)

March US + 4 W&B (+14W,-10B); + 0 stakes, - 1 district

March non-US + 8 W&B (+15W,-7B); + 7 stakes, + 2 net districts (+ 4 dist., - 2 dist.)

YTD 2012 + 47 @&B (+81 W, -34 B); + 9 stakes, - 4 districts

US + 27 W&B (+ 48 W, - 21 B); + 1 stake, - 1 district

non-US + 20 W&B ( + 37 W, - 13 B); + 7 stakes, - 3 districts

UT YTD: + 15 W&B (+ 19 W, - 4 B}, + 1 stake

Africa YTD: + 18 W&B (+ 5 W, + 13 B); + 2 stakes, + 1 district