Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Milestone of 3,300 Stakes Reached

The Church recently reached the milestone of 3,300 stakes in the worldwide Church. Steady increases in the number of new stakes organized have been maintained for many years now since the rate of new stake creations dramatically slowed in the early 2000s. The creation of stakes is one of the most reliable and valid measures of LDS growth as the organization of new stakes requires certain numbers of active members and full-tithe paying priesthood holders. These criteria have been increased in most areas of the world during the past 15 years in order to avoid the discontinuation of stakes in the future in case fewer converts join the Church and remain active, active members move away, or member activity rates decline.

See below for a list of when the Church reached previous milestones for stake growth (e.g. whenever the Church has achieved a net increase of 100 additional stakes).
  • 3,300 stakes - 2017
  • 3,200 stakes - 2016
  • 3,100 stakes - 2014
  • 3,000 stakes - 2012
  • 2,900 stakes - 2011
  • 2,800 stakes - 2008
  • 2,700 stakes - 2005
  • 2,600 stakes - 2001
  • 2,500 stakes - 1998
  • 2,400 stakes - 1997
  • 2,300 stakes - 1997
  • 2,200 stakes - 1996
  • 2,100 stakes - 1995
  • 2,000 stakes - 1994
  • 1,900 stakes - 1992
  • 1,800 stakes - 1991
  • 1,700 stakes - 1988
  • 1,600 stakes - 1986
  • 1,500 stakes - 1984
  • 1,400 stakes - 1983
  • 1,300 stakes - 1981
  • 1,200 stakes - 1980
  • 1,100 stakes - 1980
  • 1,000 stakes - 1979
  • 900 stakes - 1978
  • 800 stakes - 1977
  • 700 stakes - 1975
  • 600 stakes - 1973
  • 500 stakes - 1970
  • 400 stakes - 1964
  • 300 stakes - 1960
  • 200 stakes - 1952
  • 100 stakes - 1928


Eduardo said...

It would be interesting to see how many stakes per active temples per year. For example, in 1928 maybe there were 10 functional temples so that would average 10 stakes per temple.

Eduardo said...

Also, pie charts of which continent or region the stakes are located in would be cool. In 1928 maybe 75 percent are in North America.

John Pack Lambert said...

Some of this information is shown in the boom mapping Mormonism. In 1928 there were only 7 operating temples. The 8th temple, in Idaho Falls, was not dedicated until 1945. On the other habd in 1928 there was a temple in Gawaii but there was not a stake there until the 1930s.

James said...

This is an awesome milestone to hear about! I had read about it but had not necessarily internalized it. I have a lot going on personally right now, so it took me several hours to figure out how to respond to that news. And we got there in less than two years. That's significant any way it's considered. It will be amazing to see if another 100 stakes could be created prior to this time next year. If the Church ever gets to the point where more than 100 stakes are created nearly every year, then it will be more apparent where future temples might be needed. I am grateful to find out information on Church growth from this blog.

For any who want to keep up on temple developments, the reports I feature on my blog in that regard come from information compiled and updated on the LDS Church Temples site. It is a great way to follow temple news as it happens. And information there helps me in trying to determine which locations I should add to my list of cities that may get a temple in the near future.

And I find myself sharing daily updates (sometimes more than once a day) on such progress. I am also studying in the hopes of posting a revision to the potential timeline for future temple-related events. There is more information on temples now than ever before, and it is sometimes overwhelming to keep track of it all. But that's part of what makes doing so so much fun. For any who would like to visit, I post a link to my blog. I look forward to ongoing discussions both on this blog and my own. Thanks to you all for continually inspiring me.

James said...

Getting back to this milestone, though, I was curious, so I did the research. And I was reminded that, back in 2012, our own Matthew Martinich wrote a case study about how the 3,000th stake of the Church was created in Sierra Leone on December 2 of that year. So it would appear that 300 stakes have been created in the less than 5 years since that time. That makes all of this even more significant. It will be awesome to see where Church growth goes. And I look forward to ongoing discussions about such things in the future, in any setting. Thanks again to you all.

John Pack Lambert said...

In 1928 100% of stakes were in North America. If I counted right 97% were in the US, 2% in Cabada and 1% in Mexico. To understand how far the Church has come you need to realize it is not until a stake is organized in Hawaii that any stake exists outside North America. By other definitions it is actually not till a stake is organized in New Zealand in 1958 at the time the temple there is dedicated.

The Swiss Temple existed for several years with no stakes in Europe.

The first non-English language stake is organized in the Netherlands in 1961. That is also when translation of general conference begins. The stake in Mexico at that point, the Colonia Juarez Stake, was primarily English speaking.

In fact in 1928 if I counted right 93% of stakes were in Rocky Mountain and Great Basin states. Even at that one stake was in eastern Oregon in a majority Mormon community. In fact the 3 stakes in California were the only ones where Mormons didnt form a significant proportion of the stake population. Although when Spencer W. Kimball was president of the Stafford, Arizona stake ot included not only El Paso but Ciudad Juarez in Mexico.

In 1930 much of Arizona was covered by branches assigned to the Arizona Conference of the California mission.

In 1928 there were 14 stakes per temple. As of today it is about 21 stakes per temple.

Mapping Mormonism only tracks the average number of members per temple. In 1928 it was just under 100,00 members per temple which has also roughly been the number since 2003. It peaked at just under 250,000 members per tempke in 1979 and again in 1982. In 1998 there were about 200,000 members per temple, up from 150,000 just after the height of the Kimbalian temple building phase.

Another interesting chart shows the average distance "from each stake to the nearest temple". How this chart was determined I cant say. I am not sure if the stake center address was used. In 1928 this figure was at about 75 miles. Starting with the formation of the New York Stake in 1934 it begins going up going above 100 miles in the early 1940s. In 1974 before the Washington DC temple was dedicated it had reached to over 500 miles. DC Temple brought the number to just over 400 but the growing number of stakes in Latin America pushed the number to over 500 miles and over the 1974 figure by early 1978. The Sao Paulo Temple moved the number back down again but it took the proliferation of temples in the early 1980s to bring the distance below 200 miles. It had edged back over 200 miles in 1998 but then crashed to maybe 110, dropping below 100 with the Aba and Accra Temples. From then throgh 2014 it remained unchanged. With the creation of stakes in India, and additional stakes in the DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Uganda and Kenya over the last 3 years this figure may have gone up but the proliferation of stakes in metro areas in the US close to temples may have lead to little net change in the average. Even in Nigeria the new stakes well under 100 miles from the temple largely balance out the stakes in other parts of the country so the net change in distance to the temple is probably minimal.

James said...

Interesting. I will look into all of that. Thanks, John!

Jason Allred said...

Hey Matt, looks like you may be missing 1,500.

James said...

He is. If what's there is any indication, that number might have been reached sometime during 1985. I'm sure he will fix that soon. Good catch, Jason!

Matt said...

Thanks for catching that error in regards to the year that the Church reached 1,500 stakes. Post has been updated.

Mike Johnson said...

Eduardo and John, at the beginning of 1928, there were 95 stakes in the US, 3 in Canada (Cardston, Raymond, and Lethbridge all in southern Alberta) and the Colonia Juarez Stake for 99 world wide. On 1 July 1928, stakes were created in Lehi and Pleasant Grove in Utah County bring the number of stakes to 101 (these were the only stakes created in 1928). I agree 100% were in North America.

By state there were (July 1928 to June 1929):

56 in Utah
25 in Idaho
4 in Arizona
4 in Wyoming
3 in California
2 in Nevada
1 in Colorado
1 in New Mexico
1 in Oregon

Unknown said...

I can't find a table with numbers of wards/branches/stakes by year. Do you have one you could share with me? I am interested in seeing the percentage increase of congregations by year.