With the announcement of three new stakes created on December 13th, the Church in 2015 has organized the largest number of new stakes since 1998. Accelerated stake growth in recent years has resulted from the organization of new stakes by dividing previously operating stakes and the advancement of districts into stakes. Slight accelerations in congregational growth rates have also prompted larger numbers of new stakes. Of the 66 stakes organized in 2015, 22 were created from member districts. In 2014, 20 of the 64 stakes organized were created from districts. The net increase of stakes in 2015 was lower than 2014 as the Church has discontinued seven stakes in 2015, whereas only one stake was discontinued in 2014.
District growth has also significantly accelerated in 2015. The Church has reported at least 32 new districts organized in 2015 - the largest number reported by the Church since 1994 when there was a net increase of 62 districts (and as many as 74 districts may have been organized in 1994). However, the Church has thus far reported a net decrease of three districts in 2015 as 13 districts were discontinued and 22 districts advanced into stakes.
These developments signal a modest improvement in "real growth" trends for the Church. It is important to note that the Church experienced its greatest numerical increases in stakes and districts during the late 1970s and in the 1990s notwithstanding fewer missionaries serving and fewer members of the Church. In the past couple years, stake and district growth has accelerated in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Oceania, but has slowed or has stagnated in Latin America and Europe.
Final, official numbers for the number of stakes and districts at year-end 2015 will be available in April 2016 when the Church presents its annual statistical report.