Friday, August 24, 2018

Percent LDS by US State

See below for the percentage of church-reported membership as of year-end 2017 by state and the District of Columbia. Population figures were obtained from These population figures are census estimates as of July 2017.
  1. Utah 67.39% 
  2. Idaho 26.23% 
  3. Wyoming 11.61% 
  4. Nevada 6.13% 
  5. Arizona 6.10% 
  6. Hawaii 5.20% 
  7. Montana 4.80% 
  8. Alaska 4.53% 
  9. Washington 3.90% 
  10. Oregon 3.72% 
  11. New Mexico 3.33% 
  12. Colorado 2.70% 
  13. California 1.94% 
  14. North Dakota 1.49% 
  15. Nebraska 1.30% 
  16. Kansas 1.30% 
  17. Texas 1.25% 
  18. South Dakota 1.22% 
  19. Oklahoma 1.22% 
  20. Missouri 1.16% 
  21. Virginia 1.13% 
  22. Arkansas 1.04% 
  23. West Virginia 0.93% 
  24. Iowa 0.90% 
  25. North Carolina 0.84% 
  26. Maine 0.82% 
  27. Georgia 0.82% 
  28. South Carolina 0.81% 
  29. Kentucky 0.79% 
  30. Alabama 0.77% 
  31. Tennessee 0.76% 
  32. Florida 0.75% 
  33. Vermont 0.74% 
  34. Mississippi 0.73% 
  35. Maryland 0.72% 
  36. Indiana 0.67% 
  37. New Hampshire 0.65% 
  38. Louisiana 0.64% 
  39. Minnesota 0.59% 
  40. Delaware 0.57% 
  41. Ohio 0.53% 
  42. Wisconsin 0.46% 
  43. Michigan 0.45% 
  44. Illinois 0.45% 
  45. Connecticut 0.44% 
  46. New York 0.41% 
  47. District of Columbia 0.41% 
  48. Pennsylvania 0.40% 
  49. Massachusetts 0.40% 
  50. Rhode Island 0.39% 
  51. New Jersey 0.37%


Eduardo said...

The way that the major state of Michigan has not created a stake in so many decades makes me think perhaps it will drop to the bottom of this list soon. Other low Latter-day Saint states are making more progress, it seems, like New York and New Jersey, and DC appears to be coming along.

Ray said...

Matt, thanks for this post.

Amazing that now 22 states are at least 1% LDS, with West Virginia and Iowa almost there. Also that DC and Rhode Island have the 1st and 2d lowest percentage of Latter-day Saints but were the 1st and 2d fastest growing states in LDS membership. Delaware was 3d fastest in growth and has the 4th least membership of any state.

Eric said...

How about a three column comparison of percentage reported by the church, the percentage of population who actually identify as LDS, and then the percentage of population who show up to church on Sunday. I think we'd see some interesting contrast.

Eric said...

In response to Ray,

Growth rate doesn't mean a whole lot. It's always easier for the smallest numbers to have the highest growth rates.

I have 1 dollar today, and 2 dollars tomorrow, my financial growth was 100%. Pretty impressive eh? But if I have $100 today and $150 tomorrow, my growth was sadly only 50%. Womp womp.

Unknown said...

When one considers activity rates . The numbers appear far less impressive. In Kansas we have far more inactive members then active. Ruffle 25% active. Missionaries in wichita baptize 400 per year yet we still have to close a branch

Ray said...

Branches are closed for many reasons. The most often reason for branch closings are members moving away for job opportunities and older members dying off or becoming infirm. But if a town or city is growing and there are work opportunities, the growth will continue.

There will always be members of varying degrees of activity--this is why I prefer the term "less active" to inactive.

As ward missionary I visited so many less active members that were wonderful people and had testimonies, but for one reason or another did not participate. Then there were others who returned to activity after many years of non-participation.

Just as we never give up on our loved ones who stray from full and robust activity, our Father in Heaven loves every one of us and will never give up on anyone.

Ray said...

Eric, yes, I understand that growth is asymmetrical and that states with the smallest totals will often grow the fastest. But with 2% of the US being baptized members of the Church, other nations with small percentages of members will begin to equalize as the Mormon diaspora spreads through the nation and world.

El. Álvarez said...

The ideal would be 100% active, or at least 80, 50... However 25% of activity is pretty good if you compare with the activity of say the Catholics which might be 10%, at least in my area. Said that we shouldn't ever be pleased with even a single lost sheep.

Ray said...

To El Alvarez, very well put! "Dear to the Heart of the Shelpherd..." That hymn celebrates the great worth of every soul.

Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eduardo said...

"Unknown" in Kansas; I do not know the specifics about growth rates in the general population in Kansas as a state overall, but I do know that the Plains states in general have whole rural communities that are dwindling in size.
Nebraska, South and North Dakota along with Kansas have many rural counties that are aging and having a hard time replacing their former numbers of residents. This may have an effect on the additions/removals of Latter-day Saint congregations. Not sure about the one just sacked; perhaps you could throw us some background.
I imagine that the major college towns of Kansas are growing, but as a state it will fall behind formerly small states like Utah, Nevada, and Idaho.
Are Amish buying more plots in Kansas, and are improved farming techniques continuing to spread out the need for labor and agronomical infrastructure? (Shrinking rural communities).
North Dakota has had a few towns grow in membership due to the fossil fuel boom, but I wonder how much that will be sustained over time.
I bet Omaha and Lincoln will continue to grow, but the rest of the state will continue to have aging and dying out towns.
Wyoming has some of this phenomenon, farms and mines can weed out labor (i.e. population over time). Perhaps what sustains Wyoming is the tourist areas of Jackson and Yellowstone.
Not sure what keeps people in the vast plains of Kansas, regardless of Latter-day Saint membership.
Windmill turbines don't seem to portend to new families moving in.