Saturday, April 4, 2020

2019 Statistical Report

This afternoon, the Church reported the following statistics as of December 31st, 2019.

  • Membership: 16,565,036 (increase of 251,301 from 2018; a 1.54% annual increase)
  • Congregations: 30,940 (increase of 404 from 2018; a 1.32% annual increase)
  • Stakes: 3,437 (increase of 54 from 2018; a 1.60% annual increase)
  • Districts: 542 (decrease of 5 from 2018; a 0.91% annual decrease)
  • Missions: 399 (decrease of 14 from 2018; a 1.97% annual decrease)
  • Convert Baptisms: 248,835 (increase of 14,503 from 2018; a 6.19% annual increase)
  • Increase of Children on Record: 94,266 (decrease of 7,836 from 2018; a 7.67% annual decrease)
  • Full-time missionaries: 67,021 (increase of 1,884 from 2018; a 2.89% annual increase)
  • Church service missionaries: 31,333 (decrease of 6,630 from 2018; a 17.5% annual decrease)
The 2019 Statistical Report stands out for several major reasons in comparison to recent statistical reports.

First, 2019 was the first year since 2012 in which the rate of membership growth has accelerated instead of decelerated. Annual membership growth rates slowed between 2013 and 2018 from 2.36% at year-end 2012 to a mere 1.21% at year-end 2018. The annual membership growth rate for the Church in 2019 was the highest since 2016 (1.54% versus 1.59%). Country-by-country statistics will be needed to determine where this membership growth occurred. These data are usually released 1-2 weeks after General Conference.

Second, 2019 is the first year since 2014 that the annual number of convert baptisms has increased by a sizable amount compared to the prior year. The annual number of convert baptisms slowed in the mid- and late 2010s from 296,803 in 2014 to a low of 233,729 in 2017. The number of convert baptisms in 2019 was 14,503 more than the number of convert baptisms in 2018. The average number of converts baptized per mission in 2019 (3.71) was also the highest reported by the Church since 2012 (4.62).

Third, the discrepancy between the summation of increase in children of record and convert baptisms and the actual annual increase in Church membership significantly decreased in 2019 in comparison to 2018. Altogether, the Church reported 343,101 new members added through children of record (i.e. children born into the Church or added to records who are under age 8) and convert baptisms (i.e. individuals age 9 or older who join the Church and who were not previously removed from Church records by excommunication or resignation). The difference between year-end 2018 and year-end 2019 membership is 91,800, suggesting that at least this many people had their names removed from Church records during 2019. The last time the Church had this small of a discrepancy in children of record + convert baptisms and actual membership increase was in 2012 (53,476).

Fourth, the Church in 2019 reported its lowest number of children added to Church records since 2007 at 91,800. The Church consistently reported over 100,000 children of record added each year between 2008 and 2018. This statistic indicates declining birth rates among Church members, particularly in countries with the largest Church memberships like the United States, Mexico, and Brazil. The Church in Utah particularly has appeared to experience a significant decrease in birth rates as Utah is no longer the state in the United States with the highest birthrate even though Latter-day Saints constitute approximately two-thirds of the state population.

Fifth, the Church in 2019 reported its largest net increase in the number of congregations (i.e. wards and branches) since 2005. The annual congregational growth rate for 2019 was also the highest reported by the Church since 2015. Also, 2019 was the year with the most equal membership and congregational growth since 1996. Commensurate membership and congregational growth rates suggest stable member activity and convert retention rates as the creation of new congregations usually requires increases in the number of active members.

Sixth, the number of full-time missionaries serving in 2019 increased for the first time since the surge in the number of full-time missionaries serving in 2013 and 2014 caused by the reduction in the minimal mission age. This increase indicates that the Church has finally surpassed the artificial increase and decrease in the number of missionaries serving due to the double age cohort, and that perhaps a slight increase in young adults serving full-time missions may have occurred.

Seventh, the Church reported a significant decrease in the number of Church service missionaries serving in 2019. This statistic has increased dramatically in the past decade as there were approximately 23,000 Church service missionaries in 2012. I am unsure why this statistic has decreased and I would be interested in hearing ideas on what this may indicate.

46 comments:

Adam said...

The 404 new congregations is the highest since 2005. Considering there was only an increase of 30 last year, makes you wonder if there were simply many that got held up in the pipeline.

Good news that the number of deaths/removed records is the lowest in 7 years. Only 91,800 total. Last year, for example, had 141k. Primarily thanks to that, the church had its largest nominal increase in membership in four years.

On a discouraging note, new children of record his a 12-year low. Only 94k children or record were added, continuing a steady drop from 2012 which had 122k.

Pascal Friedmann said...

Overall, encouraging numbers all around. Nothing totally unexpected, but the Church is definitely on a good path -- something that I believe I've seen happening on the ground for two or three years, and that is now finally showing up in the Churchwide trends.

Now, I really wonder what the solemn assembly will be about, and what "special announcements" will happen tomorrow morning. My best guess is that it is going to have something to do with temples, but it's hard to tell.

Karl Hite said...

404: new congregations not found.

Xavier Raveau said...

😂🤣😂🤣

Christopher Nicholson said...

There will undoubtedly be another, perhaps even larger artificial surge in missionary numbers this year after the you-know-what clears up.

layjent said...

Does the 91K discrepancy also account for individuals who have died in the past year?

Matt said...

Yes. Deaths, excommunications, resignation, name removal for children of record who are not baptized after age 8.

John Pack Lambert said...

Among the new general authorities are one from Nigeria and one from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The one from DR Congo I have found information on. Thierry Matumbo was born in 1976 and is the youngest current general authority. He was baptized in 1976 in the second baptismal service in what was then Zaire. He served his mission in Ivory Coast. He worked as manager of gathering of family history records in the DR Congo and was a stake president prior to his call as mission president in Baltimore, Maryland where he would have hit two years in July.

Craig said...

Four comments:
Part of increase in convert baptisms and baptisms per missionary is due to allocation of more missionaries to higher baptizing missions in Africa and the Philippines.

A comment on deaths. Doesn't the Church consistently understate deaths and therefore overstate total membership? If members are in "unknown address" files, the Church never knows t) hey have died.

Increase in congregations and stakes in late 2019 and 2020, can in part be explained by the procedure (and Handbook) changes to decrease minimum size of units outside U.S. and Canada from 180 to 150 for wards and from 2000 to 1900 for stakes.

Concerning service missionaries, I think the Church changed some definitions 3 or 4 years ago. Some people previously counted as service "missionaries" are now classified as service "volunteers" because they serve fewer hour per week.

Unknown said...

Did teenagers Laudy Ruth Kaouk and Enzo Serge Petelo, just become the two youngest people to ever speak in General Conference?

Mario Miguel said...

Elder Holland's son who was just sustained as a General Authority gave a talk in conference when he was a teenager. Though I'm not sure his exact age at the time. He's the only other youth speaker at conference I know of.

Craig said...

I got to know Elder Corbett, counselor in the new Young Men Presidency and feel of his spirit a few years ago when he was serving as president of the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission and I audited his mission. Does anyone know if he is the first African American member of a general organization (formerly auxiliary organization) presidency?

miro said...

@Craig
The requirements for wards and stakes outside the US did not decrease in the last year. They where already 150 for wards and 1900 for stakes in the last printed Handbook. To my konlege they have benn that way for the past 10 years.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

:)

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

I was just going to mention Matthew Holland.

He used to be my teacher at BYU and he's a really nice and funny guy.

He was also a university president like his dad (of UVU, not BYU), and was just previously the mission president of Raleigh, North Carolina.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_S._Holland

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@Craig

Aren't those who serve in Russia called volunteers also?

Are there other areas of the world where they're known as volunteers for political reasons?

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

Info on newly called General Authorities and Area Seventies:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.deseret.com/platform/amp/faith/2020/4/4/21208175/new-general-authorities-young-men-presidency-church-leadership-lds-mormon-general-conference

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@Craig:

According to John Pack Lambert's comment on a different post:

"The newly called General Young Men Presidency includes an African American. There never has been an African American general officer of the Church before."

James said...

Brother Lund was one of my high school seminary teachers and the son of another former GA Seventy, Elder Gerald N. Lund, author of "The Work and the Glory" and "Kingdom and the Crown." Brother Wilcox is a well-known BYU professor and prominent EFY speaker. BTW, I noticed that a David Stewart was sustained as an area seventy. Any connection to the David Stewart who has co-authored the Cumorah.com profiles?

Paul said...

How refreshing to have the Saturday afternoon session end about ten minutes early and the Saturday evening session to end about 20 minutes early. Could this be a pattern for future church meetings that typically last for two hours? I hope so. The brain and spirit can only absorb what the buttox allows!

GWA said...

I thought Peter Johnson was the first African American General Authority??

Christopher Nicholson said...

Yes. Ahmad Corbitt is a general officer, not a General Authority.

James Anderson said...

Saturday evenings have not always gone the full two hours, most end a few minutes early anyway.

This timme though, there is less of a gap between speakers, where one is leaving and the other one is coming up. Also the short gaps where the choir would rise and ready itself for what they would sing given the archived nature of the music this time arounjd, and less tech switching needed behind the sceness.

John Pack Lambert said...

In 1998 three young women spoke at the young women's session. Whether that was fully general conference I do not know.

I believe both Jeffrey and Matthew Holland both spoke. At the time Jeffrey R. Holland was president of BYU.

Peter Vidmar and David Durrant both spoke in the 1980s but they were in their 20s.

John Pack Lambert said...

Elder Matumbo was baptized in 1986. Sorry for that typo. His wife served as a missionary in her native Congo and she first met his parents when she was a missionary and his mom started telling him he should marry her. I learned this from Brother Bradshaw's presentation to FairMormon. Bradshaw was mission president in Kinshasa.

John Pack Lambert said...

I had a friend whose father-in-law showed up in Church files as dead years before they died.

twinnumerouno said...

Elder Bednar just said that 18 temples will have groundbreaking this year- I believe only 4 have had dates announced.

John Pack Lambert said...

You are correct. He also just gave the closing prayer. He spoke last October and this July will start as mission president of the England Manchester Mission. He is one of two general authorities called this year as a mission president.

John Pack Lambert said...

I remember once back in the 1990s President Hinckley went over in priesthood meeting.

I hate to be the one, and I loved the proclamation and the hosanna shout. I am hoping President Nelson announces more temples in the last session.

Eric S. said...

Yes, 4 temples have so far been announced for a groundbreaking starting with Richmond next week. Alabang,Layton, and Auckland are the other three.

There are 10 temples which have had sites confirmed via Newsroom announcements (Tooele Valley, Feather River, Moses Lake, Washington County, Phnom Penh, Orem, Taylorsville, McAllen, Bengaluru, and Brasilia). Many of those seem likely to be among the remaining 14.

There are also several more temples with sites possibly identified. I hope the two remaining Monson Temple announcements have groundbreakings this year (Nairobi and Harare).

Will be exciting to see what temples have groundbreakings this year!

Chris said...

I wonder who will replace Pres. Thierry K. Matumbo this July as President of the Maryland Baltimore Mission? Since he has been the Mission President only 2 years, as stated above. If he is beginning his tenure as a General Authority Seventy beginning in August.

twinnumerouno said...

If 18 temples have groundbreaking this year, that will be just over half of the 35 temples announced in previous years that have not yet had groundbreaking.

John said...

Terry Haws (who I once lived next door to at BYU) participated in his grandfather L. Tom Perry's priesthood session talk when he was 12.

twinnumerouno said...

There was also a young man, Michael Nicholas, who spoke in October 1982. The three young women, Kristin Banner, Fono Lavatai and Alejandra Hernández, spoke in the Young Women meeting in April (or March?) 1997.

Gnesileah said...

Brother Steven J. Lund was in my ward while I was a youth (same ward that Sister Cheryl A. Esplin of the former Primary Presidency resided in too). He and his family are wonderful people. He is not the son of Elder Gerald N. Lund, although maybe they are related somehow. Steve's parents are Jay Norman and Toy Ellen Openshaw Lund. I remember how much the ward family came together when their youngest child, Tanner, was diagnosed with leukemia. My youngest brother was his friend, and when Tanner started chemotherapy and lost his hair, my brother, along with several other boys, shaved their heads too. Sadly, Tanner died after a three-year battle, in 1998, at the age of 12. [https://www.deseret.com/1998/3/1/19366667/death-tanner-christian-lund] I visit his grave whenever I visit Provo.

Brother and Sister Lund were ward youth leaders, and once invited the ward youth to their cabin in Park City for an overnight ski trip. My friends and I hunted for a place to sleep, and we found this cool secret room inside their master bathroom, so we slept there (why we thought that was okay, I have no idea). In the morning, we crawled out of this secret room, and passed by Brother and Sister Lund who were standing outside the bedroom in the hallway. I shyly said, "Thanks for letting us sleep in your bathroom." Brother Lund sort of laughed, and I am not sure he even realized that we had been in there (I am sure he had to know -- we were just a bunch of noisy boys), and I have no idea where they slept. They might have slept in another house for all I know.

A couple years later, after high school in 1998, I worked as a custodian at a "Utah-based cosmetics company", that at the time Brother Lund was VP of. When I was assigned to clean the top floor, which contained his office and the offices of the other two founders, Blake Roney (who was our ward bishop at the time, and has been serving as an Area Seventy since 2016) and Sandy Tillotson, I was very careful to try and do my best. Brother Lund's office had beautiful executive furniture and oriental rugs. The first time I was assigned to clean his office, I thought I had been told that he didn't want his rugs vacuumed, but he wanted the vacuum lines. So I removed the vacuum attachment and used it to make straight lines across all the rugs, carefully going around all the furniture. The next day, Brother Lund walked in and immediately called my boss, who then frantically called me and asked what I had done, that I should never vacuum the rugs, that it can damage the rug fibers. I told him what I had done and he laughed so hard. He relayed that back to Brother Lund, and they both had a good laugh about it. But I never made that mistake again. He also had a telescope in his office that looked east towards the Wasatch Mountains. One night during a full moon, I looked through it and saw the moon is such incredible detail. It was a spiritual experience for me that left me in awe. Later that night, I passed by a security guard and he asked me where I had been. With a smile on his face, he told me see the other guard in the security office on the 7th floor. I went there, and he just started laughing. I was so confused, until he he finally just told me to go look in the mirror. I had a black ring around my eye. Blake and Steve were always playing jokes on each other. Evidently, Blake had put black shoe polish on the telescope, and I paid the price. Or maybe it was meant for me all along, and I was being secretly recorded. I don't know.

Brother Lund was mission president of the Georgia Atlanta Mission from 2003-2006, and an Area Seventy from 2009-2014. I am also really excited about both Ahmad Corbitt and Brad Wilcox -- both excellent choices!

John Pack Lambert said...

Newly called general authorities began immediately. I am not sure how soon a replacement will be appointed for him.

twinnumerouno said...

Over the last few years, I have been noticing that the new GA's are getting closer and closer to my age (I am 45). Elder Matumbo will be the first who is actually younger than me. (When I was younger, I thought it strange when GA's were called who were the age of my parents. Last year all the 70's who were my mom's age were given emeritus status.)

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

I enjoyed your stories about interacting with the Lund's, Gnesileah.

twinnumerouno said...

I think "Mutombo" is the correct spelling of his last name.

Eduardo said...

Gnes: Nuskin, right? Downtown Provo, maybe 7 floors high. I don't live near Utah so I don't care about advertising the name. I appreciate your discretion.
My dad is a former membership clerk in southern Indiana. He has made a few comments that administrators, maybe more stake officers than ward ones, that were lazy or inefficient at cleaning up membership records. These are not paid clergy, after all. But lazy, sure. Like all of us can be as ministering visitors, or members of the elders quorum not finding our missing, lost, or unknown people on the rolls within our ward boundaries. A lot of these people do not want to deal with any of it, and we call those DNCs, Do Not Contacts.
Keep serving and searching, all of us. Online and in person when appropriate.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

I wonder if he's related to Dikembe Mutombo, or if that's just a common last name where he's from?

twinnumerouno said...

Elder Neil L. Andersen's remarks before the temple groundbreaking in Kinshasa refer to both Elder Mutombo and his father by name:

https://africasoutheast.churchofjesuschrist.org/elder-andersens-talk-and-dedicatory-prayer-at-the-kinshasa-drc-temple-groundbreaking

Looking at the wikipedia article for Dikembe Mutombo, they're not brothers but that's all I can find so far.

Somehow I had never heard of Dikembe Mutombo (I like basketball but haven't followed the NBA that much throughout my life), but his name came up when I was trying to see what other information there might be on Elder Mutombo.

Elder and Sister Mutombo's courtship is mentioned in pages 31-37 of this document about the Saints in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

https://www.fairmormon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Stories-of-the-Saints-FairMormon-Transcript-s.pdf

twinnumerouno said...

That second link is to the presentation by Brother Bradshaw, referred to earlier by John Pack Lambert.

James said...

Gnesileah, thanks for that correction on Brother Lund. I had wondered why his picture wasn't ringing any recognition bells for me, and since he is not the son of Gerald N. Lund, and was not a seminary teacher, that's not the same Steven Lund to whom I was referring. I guess I went by the name, not the picture. But it is funny how sometimes, one can come across two different individuals with the exact same name. Just goes to show that it really is a small world. I really should check my facts before asserting things in the future. I'll try to log that away and hope I can find the access button for it when I need it.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

"Not in My house!" is what Dikembe used to say, after he blocked a shot and wagged his finger at the fans. He's got the 4th most blocks in NBA history.

Unknown said...

Does anyone know how many of the 404 new congregations are from Africa? Does the 404 increase take into account the closure of some units?