Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Human Development Index (HDI) and Annual Membership Growth Rate: Correlational Analysis

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a widely quoted statistic that combines education, life expectancy, and standard of living into a single number ranging from 0-1. HDI by country provides a snapshot into some of the basic variables that define human development for individual nations (see more at http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi).

See below for a graph that displays 2017 Human Development Index (HDI) and 2017 annual membership growth by country for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Click on the graph to enlarge it. HDI numbers were retrieved here. Annual membership growth rates were obtained from year-end 2016 and year-end 2017 membership data published by the Church. Only 132 countries were included in the analysis as these were the only nations for which 2016 and 2017 membership data and HDI figures were available. A correlation analysis of the two variables revealed a moderate negative relationship between HDI and annual membership growth rates for 2017 (r = -0.517). Therefore, we can conclude that HDI accounts for 26.7% of the shared variability between the two variables. Thus, higher levels of education, life expectancy, and standard of living are negatively correlated with annual membership growth rates in the Church. This finding supports more comprehensive work done by Ryan Cragun and Ronald Lawson regarding "The Secular Transition" of nations in which groups like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reports slower growth in high HDI countries in comparison to lower HDI countries.


See below for the data used to create the above graph:


COUNTRY HDI 2017 MEMBERSHIP GROWTH 2017
Albania 0.785 4.09%
Angola 0.581 15.78%
Antigua and Barbuda 0.780 3.04%
Argentina 0.825 1.62%
Armenia 0.755 -1.16%
Australia 0.939 1.47%
Austria 0.908 1.00%
Bahamas 0.807 1.26%
Barbados 0.800 4.18%
Belgium 0.916 -2.76%
Belize 0.708 0.79%
Benin 0.515 17.70%
Bolivia (Plurinational State of) 0.693 2.02%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.768 4.55%
Botswana 0.717 4.36%
Brazil 0.759 2.19%
Bulgaria 0.813 -0.45%
Burundi 0.417 14.57%
Cambodia 0.582 3.94%
Cameroon 0.556 19.35%
Canada 0.926 0.72%
Cape Verde 0.654 5.19%
Central African Republic 0.367 8.33%
Chile 0.843 0.72%
Colombia 0.747 1.95%
Congo (Democratic Republic of th 0.457 9.16%
Congo 0.606 4.51%
Costa Rica 0.794 2.88%
Côte d'Ivoire 0.492 10.88%
Croatia 0.831 1.13%
Cyprus 0.869 0.00%
Czechia 0.888 1.84%
Denmark 0.929 0.54%
Dominica 0.715 -2.42%
Dominican Republic 0.736 2.15%
Ecuador 0.752 1.79%
El Salvador 0.674 1.03%
Estonia 0.871 -1.13%
Ethiopia 0.463 0.37%
Fiji 0.741 3.92%
Finland 0.920 -1.19%
France 0.901 1.68%
Georgia 0.780 1.13%
Germany 0.936 0.06%
Ghana 0.592 7.62%
Greece 0.870 3.89%
Grenada 0.772 2.16%
Guatemala 0.650 1.86%
Guyana 0.654 2.93%
Haiti 0.498 3.24%
Honduras 0.617 1.67%
Hong Kong, China (SAR) 0.933 -0.09%
Hungary 0.838 0.42%
Iceland 0.935 2.53%
India 0.640 3.26%
Indonesia 0.694 1.51%
Ireland 0.938 2.28%
Israel 0.903 11.63%
Italy 0.880 1.41%
Jamaica 0.732 1.24%
Japan 0.909 0.37%
Kazakhstan 0.800 -7.08%
Kenya 0.590 3.13%
Kiribati 0.612 7.20%
Korea (Republic of) 0.903 0.25%
Latvia 0.847 0.65%
Lesotho 0.520 8.19%
Liberia 0.435 9.18%
Lithuania 0.858 -0.41%
Luxembourg 0.904 5.34%
Madagascar 0.519 4.77%
Malawi 0.477 10.42%
Malaysia 0.802 2.14%
Malta 0.878 6.63%
Marshall Islands 0.708 -6.39%
Mauritius 0.790 0.78%
Mexico 0.774 1.30%
Micronesia (Federated States of) 0.627 3.84%
Moldova (Republic of) 0.700 4.79%
Mongolia 0.741 1.79%
Montenegro 0.814 -17.39%
Mozambique 0.437 15.18%
Namibia 0.647 -0.23%
Netherlands 0.931 2.26%
New Zealand 0.917 0.95%
Nicaragua 0.658 2.89%
Nigeria 0.532 7.09%
Norway 0.953 -0.22%
Palau 0.798 1.98%
Panama 0.789 5.23%
Papua New Guinea 0.544 5.05%
Paraguay 0.702 1.64%
Peru 0.750 2.00%
Philippines 0.699 2.61%
Poland 0.865 2.22%
Portugal 0.847 1.57%
Romania 0.811 -0.23%
Russian Federation 0.816 0.31%
Rwanda 0.524 52.82%
Saint Kitts and Nevis 0.778 -11.34%
Saint Lucia 0.747 4.84%
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 0.723 4.59%
Samoa 0.713 2.15%
Serbia 0.787 2.72%
Sierra Leone 0.419 10.03%
Singapore 0.932 -0.41%
Slovakia 0.855 1.49%
Slovenia 0.896 -2.07%
Solomon Islands 0.546 15.44%
South Africa 0.699 2.54%
Spain 0.891 2.51%
Sri Lanka 0.770 5.22%
Suriname 0.720 2.14%
Swaziland 0.588 2.78%
Sweden 0.933 0.74%
Switzerland 0.944 -2.29%
Tanzania (United Republic of) 0.538 8.31%
Thailand 0.755 3.88%
Togo 0.503 8.68%
Tonga 0.726 1.04%
Trinidad and Tobago 0.784 0.29%
Turkey 0.791 6.63%
Uganda 0.516 5.42%
Ukraine 0.751 0.63%
United Arab Emirates 0.863 0.78%
United Kingdom 0.922 0.54%
United States 0.924 0.75%
Uruguay 0.804 0.91%
Vanuatu 0.603 11.13%
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 0.761 0.46%
Zambia 0.588 7.25%
Zimbabwe 0.535 6.41%

10 comments:

L. Chris Jones said...

What could be the reason for high negative growth in places like St. Kits and Nevis, and Montenegro

R. Jofre said...

^^ It usually means that people moved out of the area. Economic reasons tend to be the main factor for leaving but security might also play a role.

Christopher Nicholson said...

Those are two of the smallest countries in the world. They probably only had a few dozen members to begin with, and any emigrations would have a huge impact percentage-wise.

Eric S. said...

Open house and dedication dates announced for the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple. Temple will be dedicated May 19, 2019.

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/public-open-house-dedication-dates-announced-haiti-temple

John Pack Lambert said...

Another factor is in some countries a significant portion of the members are expatriates with no deep connection to the country. For example the founding father of the Church in Benin was a Nigerian working as a teacher at the school of the Nigerian embassy.

socmaniam said...

This is very interesting!. Thanks for sharing

socmaniam said...

This is very interesting!. Thanks for sharing

James said...

If it helps, St. Kitts and Nevis is home to one of the foremost accelerated medical school programs in the world. My sister's family had the opportunity to live on that island while her husband attended medical school there. So part of the reason why membership figures may have fallen in that island is that Church members like my sister's family who were there for that purpose have moved away once that program has been completed. I particularly know that my sister's family of five individuals more than doubled the membership of the branch there. So if such members have completed the medical school program and moved on to the next phase of that journey, they might have been replaced by a family of individuals who are not members of the Church. At least, that would be my guess. I believe that when my sister's family moved out of their living space, the couple who moved in were not members of the Church, but I would have to confirm that with her to know for certain. Hope this insight, such as it is, is helpful to this discussion.

Eduardo Clinch said...

When you say "foremost accelerated" I understand that to mean you can graduate faster, but is it considered world class in quality?
Montserrat used to have some educational opportunities in the 1990s before the volcano wiped them out. Can't recall if it was medicine or business or what.
Thanks for the info and insight. Love to hear about growth in the Caribbean. I have known two sweet senior couples serve in Trinidad. The second couple covered about eight countries while the one in the 90s helped open the Couva Branch.

James said...

Eduardo, I apologize for not seeing your question sooner. On Wednesday evening of this week, I returned home after a 10-day stay in the hospital, which involved a couple of minor surgical procedures. While I cannot speak to my personal knowledge about the program, I know that many of those studying in the group of which my brother-in-law was a part had to work extra hard to keep up with the class load. With that in mind, it is my understanding that the program on St. Kitts and Nevis can take what is a four-year degree elsewhere and consolidate the process so it only takes about 1.5 years. From the comments of the doctors my brother-in-law has been following during his residency period (which is occurring in Georgia), there is nothing lacking in the education or training he received. In fact, some who come out of that particular program have been noted as being more proficient in the next phase of that process than their colleagues who have attended school stateside for a longer period of time. Again, I have no personal knowledge that this is the case, but that's what I am hearing from those who have talked to doctors with whom my brother-in-law has been working. Does that help answer your question?