Thursday, August 23, 2018

LDS Membership by US State in 2017, Percent LDS Membership Growth by US State in 2017

I have received recent inquires about the number of Latter-day Saints in each state in the United States. See below for a list of all states in the United States (plus the District of Columbia) ranked by church-reported membership for year-end 2017. Locations listed in bold do not have an LDS temple announced or in operation.
  1. Utah - 2,090,401 
  2. California - 767,252 
  3. Idaho - 450,347 
  4. Arizona -  428,069 
  5. Texas - 353,317 
  6. Washington - 288,515 
  7. Nevada - 183,638 
  8. Florida - 156,724 
  9. Oregon - 153,955 
  10. Colorado - 151,433 
  11. Virginia - 95,379 
  12. North Carolina -  86,132 
  13. Georgia -  85,363 
  14. New York - 82,361 
  15. Hawaii -  74,278 
  16. Missouri - 71,212 
  17. New Mexico -  69,627 
  18. Wyoming - 67,275 
  19. Ohio - 61,966 
  20. Illinois - 57,111 
  21. Pennsylvania - 51,765 
  22. Tennessee - 51,050 
  23. Montana - 50,420 
  24. Oklahoma - 47,852 
  25. Indiana - 44,876 
  26. Michigan - 44,849 
  27. Maryland - 43,721 
  28. South Carolina - 40,608 
  29. Kansas - 37,780 
  30. Alabama - 37,487 
  31. Kentucky - 35,125 
  32. New Jersey - 33,726 
  33. Alaska - 33,492 
  34. Minnesota - 33,012 
  35. Arkansas - 31,254 
  36. Louisiana - 29,787 
  37. Iowa - 28,160 
  38. Massachusetts -  27,576 
  39. Wisconsin -  26,753 
  40. Nebraska - 24,945 
  41. Mississippi - 21,725 
  42. West Virginia - 16,933 
  43. Connecticut - 15,870 
  44. North Dakota - 11,244 
  45. Maine - 10,947 
  46. South Dakota - 10,626 
  47. New Hampshire - 8,771 
  48. Delaware - 5,527 
  49. Vermont -  4,625 
  50. Rhode Island - 4,177 
  51. District of Columbia - 2,848 
See below for a list of states and the District of Columbia ranked in order by membership growth rate for the year 2017. The 10 states with the most members in this list are indicated in italics:
  1.  District of Columbia +3.26% 
  2. Rhode Island +2.63% 
  3. Delaware +2.35% 
  4. Tennessee +2.04% 
  5. Arkansas +1.82% 
  6. Vermont +1.69% 
  7. South Dakota +1.68% 
  8. Texas +1.49% 
  9. North Carolina +1.45% 
  10. Wisconsin +1.37% 
  11. Massachusetts +1.37% 
  12. Idaho +1.29% 
  13. Utah +1.19% 
  14. New Hampshire +1.19% 
  15. Arizona +1.18% 
  16. Missouri +1.17% 
  17. Florida +1.16% 
  18. Georgia +1.12% 
  19. Oklahoma +1.06% 
  20. South Carolina +0.97% 
  21. Minnesota +0.90% 
  22. Ohio +0.77% 
  23. New York +0.76% 
  24. New Jersey +0.74% 
  25. Nebraska +0.73% 
  26. Alabama +0.67% 
  27. Nevada +0.56% 
  28. Montana +0.55% 
  29. Kentucky +0.49% 
  30. Hawaii +0.47% 
  31. Indiana +0.46% 
  32. Maryland +0.43% 
  33. Michigan +0.42% 
  34. Kansas +0.39% 
  35. Washington +0.38% 
  36. Connecticut +0.23% 
  37. Pennsylvania +0.19% 
  38. Virginia +0.19% 
  39. New Mexico +0.01% 
  40. Oregon +0.01% 
  41. Iowa +0.01%
  42.  Illinois +0.00% 
  43. North Dakota -0.11% 
  44. Maine -0.28% 
  45. West Virginia -0.28% 
  46. Colorado -0.30% 
  47. Wyoming -0.34% 
  48. Louisiana -0.49% 
  49. California -0.55% 
  50. Mississippi -0.57% 
  51. Alaska -0.94%

14 comments:

Eduardo Clinch said...

I know California loses a lot of members constantly to other states. It seems Alaska and Wyoming, and probably Colorado and North Dakota, have had enough overall population growth to reduce the numbers of Church growth. Then again, it appears that is not the measure shared in the list of percentage growth, but it is interesting to see those 4 western sites losing growth in 2017.

Ryan Searcy said...

Alaska is a very expensive place to live, and we also have a significant crime problem. Our legislators decided that "non-violent" crimes aren't worth prosecuting, so anyone arrested for crimes, like theft, are almost always immediately released. People just don't want to live in these conditions, where the police actually cannot do their jobs. People leave Anchorage to go live in Eagle River or Wasilla, but crime is growing in those places at a rapid pace.

Christopher Nicholson said...

North Dakota's booming oil industry that attracted so many people a few years ago has probably has slowed down a bit.

I'm surprised to see any growth in eastern states and especially New York. I wonder how many of those members are staying active. I grew up in upstate New York, we had approximately two baptisms a year who more often than not would be inactive within weeks. Even this one girl who attended church for months before she got baptized went inactive immediately after. Weird. Our membership roll was full of names of people nobody in the branch had ever met. And as the deacons' and then teachers' quorum president I was supposed to "reactivate" boys who had never set foot in our chapel in their lives. Of course, we also had active members moving in from California. I can see why they left California but I'm not sure why they wanted to trade the weather for New York's winters.

Eduardo Clinch said...

New York probably attracts people with jobs.

Ryan Lindgren said...

Would love to see church growth benchmarked against Census data. Does someone have 2010 membership by state to compare to this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population_growth_rate

Ray said...

Although Wyoming's membership showed a minor decline, the state actually lost population in the same period. At the same time, the LDS percentage has crept up slightly.

North Dakota's membership jumped up in recent years but has also experienced a slowdown due to its reliance on the oil industry.

Still, North Dakota at 1.49% LDS has the highest LDS percentage of state population in any state outside the Mormon corridor. Kansas and Nebraska are close, and Texas at 1.25% is moving up very fast, probably due to its business-friendly stance which has attracted so many job seekers.

Ray said...

Ryan, you can access that information on this blog by going to Cumorah.com, Countries, States, and then ask for Statistical Profiles. It will show the Census figures as well as the Church-reported membership figures and percentage of population that are LDS. This information is available for for every year since the information became available.

John said...

I'd like to see membership growth relative to population growth.

Unknown said...

I used to be ministering brother to a family that had lived in North Dakota, moved to Michigan, and when the husband got a job in North Dakota again decided to stay in Michigan and have him work a schedule where he would be gone for weeks straight at a time. So the loneliness and other conditions on the oil patch may not be good for long-time Church development.

In urban areas like New York City and Detroit the Church has seen quite a bit of growth. This is also playing out a bit in DC, although there it is probably more the rising tide of gentrification on the north-west side and its attracting young professionals than Church growth in Anacostia.

Unknown said...

California's figure gives us a loss of about 3,500 members. My guess is that this is most heavily a net outmigration to other parts of the US.

Eric said...

To "Unknown" Re: California,

Since 2013 membership has decreased from 780,200 to 767,252. In the same time, overall population has risen from 38,388,473 to 39,536,653. Outmigration doesn't account for why California is still growing. So there must be other reasons. Convert baptisms have dropped the last few years. It's likely there are more older members dying than are being replaced by new children of record, as inactivity rates rise. People are having their names removed from church records at a higher clip than in the past. Quitmormon.org says they have processed about 11,000 resignations in the 5 or so years they have existed. And that's just one lawyer offering a service. There are many people leaving the church through other methods. California is a more liberal state (63% voted for Hillary). Mormonism is generally favored by a more conservative crowd. It's likely the more liberal minded members are leaving at a higher rate than the conservatives.

Just a thought.



Ray said...

Eric, you're missing the principal reason for the drop off in California membership, and that is the outrageous cost of living and high taxes. Add to that the prevailing state politics, which are not family-friendly. This is why there is a huge out-migration of LDS members to localities which have low or non-existent state taxes, good job prospects, less expensive housing, and suitable public schools.

I'll give myself as an example. I left California with a small family for the reasons mentioned above. Our family has been fortunate to grow at a fast pace, and now, with grandchildren, number almost 20. We miss a lot about California, but it was simply too expensive to stay there. We are just one of countless families who left for better quality of life.

bball4ever said...

I agree Ray. Here in Arizona we have seen a lot of members relocate here from California. It seems every other week a new family moves in from California (typically southern cal). I also have come across numerous people through work who left California due to the jobs, cost of living as well as social and political climate. I love California,but I will admit the residents are trashing it fast.

James said...

If it would not be out of line for me to comment, while I have no firsthand knowledge about the factors relating to living in California, I know that Utah has recently seen an influx of Californians coming into the state, particularly here in northern Utah County. I also know that a venture capitalist who lives in California has submitted several proposals to potentially split the state for the reasons outlined here that make leaving California as one of the largest (if not the very largest) states in the union somewhat impractical.

The latest such initiative was scheduled to be on the California ballot this year, but apparently the Supreme Court of that state raised some judicial concerns about the wording of the measure as it now stands, so it may have been struck from the ballot for this year.

I also know that any proposal to split California has mixed reactions from those retaining their residence there. Some have clearly indicated they are in favor of splitting the state to make the government and economical situation more manageable, while others have expressed concerns that the measure in any form misses the mark in many ways.

More information about that is available. For myself, as an outside observer of matters in the United States which do not directly relate to Utah, I can see more to the merits of the ideas to split some of the larger states that are more of a political and economical force.

At the same time, since I don't live in those other states, I don't quite understand the reservations some residents in states such as California have expressed regarding measures like these that would split the state into smaller, more manageable governments with more equivalent economics. These are just some additional thoughts I had, for what they may be worth to any of you.