Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Country-by-Country Membership Statistics Released for 2017

The Church has released 2017 membership and congregation totals for most nations with a reported LDS presence. These statistics can be accessed on Church's official website at http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics. However, the international site has had some bugs in it and the data continues to revert back to 2016 when I search various countries. Country-specific Mormon Newsroom sites do not appear to have this issue, such as the Kenya Mormon Newsroom site which I used to obtain year-end 2017 country-by-country data.

Countries with the highest annual membership growth rates in 2017 (10% or greater) are listed below. Lists for nations with the most rapid membership growth rates are also available for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. The percentage next to the country name is the annual growth rate percentage, which is followed by the country's LDS membership at year-end 2017. Countries in bold experienced an annual membership increase greater than 200 during 2017. 

  1. Rwanda - 52.8% - 596
  2. Cameroon - 19.3% - 1,943
  3. Benin - 17.7% - 3,105
  4. Angola - 15.8% - 2,458
  5. Solomon Islands - 15.4% - 1,099
  6. Mozambique - 15.2% - 10,835
  7. Burundi - 14.6% - 692
  8. Tuvalu - 12.2% - 257
  9. Israel - 11.6% - 288
  10. Vanuatu - 11.1% - 8,786
  11. Cote d'Ivoire - 10.9% - 43,895
  12. Malawi - 10.4% - 2,745
  13. Sierra Leone - 10.0% - 19,443
Below is a list of the top ten countries by numerical membership increase for the year 2017. Each country is provided with the numerical national increase in membership. Additionally, the percentage of total church membership increase is provided for each country. Lists are also available for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. 68.8% of the 2017 net increase in LDS membership can be attributed to the following 10 nations - the lowest it has been in at least 10 years. 
  1. United States - 49,691 - 21.1%
  2. Brazil - 29,672 - 12.6%
  3. Philippines - 19,434 - 8.2%
  4. Mexico - 18,372 - 7.8%
  5. Peru - 11,595 - 4.9%
  6. Nigeria - 10,842 - 4.6%
  7. Argentina - 7,201 - 3.1%
  8. Ghana - 5,530 - 2.1%
  9. Guatemala - 4,979 - 2.1%
  10. DR Congo - 4,845 - 2.1%
Here are a few observations with these country-by-country membership growth numbers:
  • The Church continues to report decelerating membership growth rates in several countries that support the largest church memberships. For example, the Church reported a significant slowdown in membership growth in the United States during 2017 as church membership increased by only 0.75% - the lowest annual membership growth rate for the Church in the United States in perhaps as long as a century. The Church in Mexico also reported the slowest membership growth in 35 years of a mere 1.30% during 2017. As a result, membership growth in these countries has contributed less and less to world membership growth rates. Moreover, growth rates in these countries strongly affect world membership growth rates. For example, LDS membership in the six countries with the most members (the United States, Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines, Chile, and Peru) constitutes 71% of total church membership worldwide. Thus, even small changes in growth rates in these six nations significantly influence world membership growth rates. Lack of member-missionary participation, ineffective proselytism approaches, and the increasing influence of secularism on society appear primarily responsible for these trends.
  • Most countries in most regions of the world, except Sub-Saharan Africa, experienced slow membership growth (less than 3.0%) during 2017. Of the 157 countries/territories with year-end 2017 membership reported by the Church on the Mormon Newsroom website, 99 reported annual membership growth rates of less than 3.0% during 2017.
  • Not all countries with the most members reported slowing LDS membership growth in 2017. Annual membership growth rates slightly increased from 2016 to 2017 in several nations with large church memberships such as the Philippines (2.4% versus 2.6%), Peru (1.8% versus 2.0%), and Brazil (2.1% versus 2.2%). 
  • The most rapid membership growth continues to occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Of the 13 countries with the most rapid membership growth in 2017, nine are located in Africa and three are located in Oceania.
  • The Church in Rwanda has experienced significant membership growth. Within five years, the Church in Rwanda has grown from 121 members to 596 members. Also, the vast majority of these members, perhaps as high as 80%, regularly attend church based upon recent reports I have received from mission leadership and missionaries in the country.
  • After a four-year period of approximately 20% annual membership growth in Cote d'Ivoire, membership growth rates decreased to 10.9% in 2017. There has not appeared to have been any significant development to cause this slowdown in growth, but rather this may be better accounted by perhaps a slower-than-average year. There has not appeared to have been any indication that receptivity among the Ivorian population has waned. For example, missionaries in the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan West Mission recently reported that the mission is poised to baptize 2,000 converts within just the first five months of 2018. 
  • A net decrease in church membership occurred in 25 countries during 2017. Most of these countries are located in Europe or the Caribbean, have fewer than 1,000 members, and reported a net membership decrease of less than five percent during the year.

2 comments:

John Pack Lambert said...

The growth rate that Ivory Coast was experiencing was hard to keep up with continued growth meaning the numerical level of growth had to continue. 10% is still very respectable. Hopefully soon there will be stakes formed in many areas of Ivory Coast.

Giulio Mastino said...

Finally it's arrived.