Saturday, April 18, 2015

Countries with the Highest Members-to-Units Ratio: 2014 Figures

The members-to-units ratio is a statistic ascertained by dividing church-reported membership by the total number of congregations. Countries with high member-to-unit ratios invariably experience low member activity rates as there are an insufficient number of active members to create additional congregations.

Below is a list of the 20 countries and dependencies with the highest members-to-units ratios for 2014. The 2013 list can be found here.

  1. Chile - 959
  2. Nicaragua - 870
  3. Northern Mariana Islands - 789
  4. Bolivia - 760
  5. Ecuador - 744
  6. El Salvador - 734
  7. Colombia - 725
  8. Honduras - 723
  9. Uruguay - 720
  10. Peru - 720
  11. Panama - 720
  12. South Korea - 688
  13. Mexico - 685
  14. Hong Kong - 669
  15. Paraguay - 653
  16. Brazil - 646
  17. Kiribati - 646
  18. Dominican Republic - 622
  19. Venezuela - 612
  20. Guatemala - 607
Member activity rates have appeared to worsen in most countries during the past decade as evidenced by substantial increases in the members-to-units ratio. This finding is supported by only two nations in 2003 reporting members-to-units ratios of over 600 (the Northern Mariana Islands and Chile). The Church reported improvement reducing the members-to-units ratio in only one of these 20 nations within the past year: Hong Kong (a decrease from 721 to 669). Uruguay was the country in the top 20 with the largest increase in the members-to-units ratio for 2014 (+53) due to slow membership growth combined with a net decline in the number of congregations.


James Anderson said...

There was a story on KSL last night about missionary work and particularly why no big surge of new members after the larger number of missionaries went out.

John Pack Lambert said...

I know here in Metro-Detroit a decade ago there were some brnaches with average attendance of 20 that now average over 60. So the assumption that units and active membership are highly correlated is not always true.

John Pack Lambert said...

My continuing commentary on new mission presidents:
1 new mission president this week is from Ecuador, called to serve in Colombia. He served his mission in Colombia. His wife also served a mission, but in Ecuador. Another is from Paraguay, another from Canada, and the remaining 5 from the US.

Mike Johnson said...

Hong Kong - 669

Not included among the congregations in Hong Kong, it however should be pointed out that there is a missionary couple called to conduct church services every day of the week except Sundays. Everyday, maids on their only day off each week show up to participate in services They conduct multiple services each of the six days.

If these services were counted as additional congregations, say 6 more, than the members to congregation ratio drops to 575. If they count as 12 congregations, then the ratio drops to 505.

Eduardo Clinch said...

In the city of Angol where I lived twice, there are 5 congregations and some 50,000 residents. Some local members say half the population has been baptized at one point or another. That is hyperbole but the stats may make you understand why it seems that way. ! Chile!

mrcuff said...

I am in the Henderson Nevada Black Mountain State. The Acacia ward and one of the other 11 wards in the Stake split today to create a 13th ward. Also, the Greenway Ward was renamed. I'm not sure the name of the new ward nor the name of the Greenway ward because both contain the word Palm in their name and I'm not sure which is which.

Brandon Plewe said...

Matt, we've discussed this over the years, but I still believe that average congregation size is at best a secondary indicator of activity (I wouldn't use the word "invariably"). Countries with small branches want them to be larger before splitting, Church policies on splitting requirements change, and geography sometimes dictates where you can and can't feasibly split or create new units.

That said, for most of the countries you listed, it is a decent indicator and the conclusion that inactivity is a severe problem in these places is valid.

Joseph said...

Unit creation

12 Apr
Daloa Cote d'Ivoire District
Gbeuliville Branch
Kennedy Branch
Lobia Branch
Marrais Branch
Orly Branch
Tazibouo Branch

Akweteman Ward, Accra Ghana Tesano Stake (4 Branches, 8 Wards)
Hyde Park 11th Ward, Hyde Park Utah Stake (11 Wards)

19 Apr
Palm Springs Ward (Spanish), Boynton Beach Florida Stake (2 Branches, 6 Wards)
Split Mountain Ward, Vernal Utah Uintah Stake (8 Wards)
Sycamores 6th Ward, West Jordan Utah Sycamores Stake (7 Wards)

1 March
Winneba 2nd Ward, Winneba Ghana Stake (4 Branches, 7 Wards)

YTD 179 (11.1875/week)
Africa 55
Asia 3
Europe 6
North America 64
Pacific 8
South and Central America 9
Utah & Idaho 35

James Anderson said...

Lines on the Quarterly Report show a sacrament meeting attendance number and percentage of ward members. One of the interesting things that goes with it is temple recommend holders, which for some wards may be less than the sacrament meeting attendance.

Example: One ward may have 400 m embers, but have 200 at sacrament meeting, but only 160 has a temple recommend, but you have to add in youth and children to the sacrament meeting total.

Look also at the home teaching line, provided both your EQ president and HPGL have provided the statistical data on home teaching, and you may see that the sacrament meeting attendance nad home teaching percentage line will go up and down together most of the time. That may vary for some units too especially student units where leaders have to reorganize things at the end of every term and even then some get missed due to new companionships just getting started together, I've carded bogeys more than once after getting a new companion myself..

mrcuff said...

Just an update on my previous post about a new ward that was created in the Henderson Nevada Black Mountain Stake. The new ward is called the Palm Hills Ward.

MainTour said...

It's not about the numbers but the individuals. Did you see who joined the church last weekend? Sen. Pressler (D-SD) - former 3-term US Senator.

The article is a fun read - guess which public LDS figures made a difference in his conversion?

Alex Compton said...

Fascinating read about Senator Pressler. Great teamwork by Senators Reid and Hatch and Clayton Christensen and others to help him along.

Brief correction: he was an R (and most recently an I), not a D, which I feel makes his association with Senator Reid even more interesting.

mrcuff said...

A clarification and expansion on my previous two posts concerning the Black Mountain Henderson Nevada Stake. Portions of the Acacia Ward and the McCullough Hills Ward were taken to form the newly created Palm Hills Ward. Also, The Greenway Ward changed its name to the Palm Canyon Ward.

Mike Johnson said...

Great news about Senator Pressler. I remember him in the Senate. I wouldn't have dreamed back then he would join the Church. I am glad his wife supports him in his journey.

Joseph said...

Interesting examination of the future of the Church

Unit Update
Arrecifes Ward, Cancún México Kukulcán Stake (1 Branch, 7 Wards)
Chingshui Branch, Taichung Taiwan North Stake ( 1 Branch, 8 Wards)
Granby Branch, Longueuil Québec Stake (9 Branches, 8 Wards)
Juriquilla Ward, Querétaro México Stake (7 Wards)
Tungfeng Branch, Taichung Taiwan Stake (2 Branches, 8 Wards)

5 April
Cauayan Isabela 3rd Branch, Cauayan Philippines District (7 Branches)

YTD 185 (11.5625/week)
Africa 55
Asia 5
Europe 6
North America 67
Pacific 9
South and Central America 9
Utah & Idaho 35

Brooks M. Wilson said...

Let me add a couple of other variables to the mix besides fertility rates and income that I believe might impact growth and activity rates. The first is the distance from a temple and the second, the number of years the unit existed before the temple was under a certain number of miles, say 500.

As Brandon mentioned, church policies seem to change. Although I have not attempted to measure the importance of this event, many branches have been consolidated to make wards. A combined unit would have more members, yet there is a good chance that nothing fundamental has changed.

On a personal note, I served in the Argentina Cordoba Mission between 1976 and 1978. A family friend is serving their now. Activity rates were abysmal then and now. There is a difference. A group of youth from the Salta and Cordoba areas participated in a youth trek. The Church did not have the resources and leadership to do this when I served.

James Anderson said...

This news just broke, another new mission, rather short notice given it will start up in around two months or so.

Ryan Searcy said...

The article says it will serve 5 branches in the new mission, but I count 6. Aren't there 4 in Turkey, and 2 in Kazakhstan?

In addition, this new mission will bring 4 new countries into a mission that were previously not in any mission: Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgystan

Ryan Searcy said...

Also, I don't know if this was a mistake, but based on the map of the new mission boundaries, it also includes Turkmenistan (which would be the only remaining country in the Europe East Area not in a mission), but Turkmenistan is not one of the listed countries.

John Pack Lambert said...

mrcuff, that is wonderful news from Black Mountain. I served part of my mission in the Black Mountain stake, covering the Arrowhead and Paradise Hills Wards. I believe Arrowhead Ward was put in a new stake a few years back. I know Paradise Hills Ward has split at least once since when I was there.

John Pack Lambert said...

To me the most interesting thing about Senator Pressler is that back in 1980 there was an FBI sting to expose bride accepting members of congress. Of the about 10 approached, only Pressler was one of only 2 who turned down the bribe, although the other indicated he might accept a bribe under other circumstances. Pressler not only turned down the Bribe, but he called the FBI to report the attempted bribe.

John Pack Lambert said...

Looking at the map, the Palm Canyon Ward takes in part of what was the Paradise Hills Ward when I was there. The Dutchman Pass Ward is all previous Paradise Hills area, but I am not sure that there were any buildings in the Dutchman Pass boundaries when I was there. ElDorado Pass Ward is also all from within the boundaries of the Paradise Hills Ward, and there were a few houses in those boundaries, but their number has gone up a lot. The Highland Hills Ward takes in much of what was Arrowhead Ward, while the current Arrowhead Ward comes closer to corresponding with part of the Mission Hills Ward, although there has been lots of new development. I hope at least some of this growth is being propelled by convert baptisms.