Monday, May 20, 2019

Percent Members by Country - 2018

Below is a list of all of the countries and dependencies/territories of the world with the percentage of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in each location as of 2018. Countries with an asterisk indicate that membership figures are estimated due to no official membership data released to the public. I have made these estimates on my own without unauthorized data. Previous data are available for 2008, 2016, and 2017. Population figures were obtained from the CIA World Factbook for all locations except of overseas departments of France. Population data for French overseas collectivities/departments was accessed via http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/OA or the most recent government source.

Please click on the table to be able to read the data. Unfortunately I have to upload these tables as pictures with blogger.

ASIA




CARIBBEAN/ATLANTIC ISLANDS

EUROPE




MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA


NORTH AMERICA





OCEANIA




SOUTH AMERICA




SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Updated Country Profile - Tuvalu

Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Tuvalu. With a mere 11,000 inhabitants, Tuvalu has had a Church presence since 1985 and is assigned to the Fiji Suva Mission. Moderate membership growth has occurred since the late 2000s as Church membership increased from 131 in 2008 to 268 in 2018. Also, there were eleven young adults who served full-time missions at the same time from the only branch in the country as of the mid-2010s. See below for the Future Prospects section of the article:

Moderate membership growth since the late 2000s and a significant increase in the number of young adults who serve full-time missions are positive developments that may indicate a breakthrough reaching the Tuvaluan population. Time will tell whether new converts and returned missionaries will remain active, increased membership growth will be sustained, and additional congregations will be organized as greater numbers of local priesthood leaders are trained. Restricting the number of full-time missionaries to a single companionship may be in the best interests of maintaining local member involvement in missionary work and leadership until additional congregations are organized.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

New Stakes Created in Canada, Guatemala, Nigeria, and the Philippines; New District Created in Cote d'Ivoire

Canada
The Church organized its second YSA in Canada in Calgary, Alberta on May 5th. The Calgary Alberta YSA Stake was organized from stakes in the Calgary area and includes the following six wards: the Brentwood YSA, Carburn Park YSA, Edworthy Park YSA, Highland Park YSA, Pine Creek YSA, and Priddis Valley YSA Wards. The new stake is the Church's eighth stake in Calgary.

There are now 26 stakes in Alberta, and 51 stakes and 3 districts in Canada.

Guatemala
The Church organized its second Q'eqchi'-speaking stake in Guatemala on May 5th. The Chulac Guatemala Stake was organized from the Chulac Guatemala District (organized in 1992). The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Buena Vista, Chulac, Corralpec, Sajonte, and Semuy Wards, and the Searanx and Sepamac Branches. The Church's first Q'eqchi'-speaking stake was organized in Senahu in 2017.

There are now 50 stakes and 13 districts in Guatemala.

Nigeria
The Church recently organized a new stake in Abia State. The Umuahia Nigeria South Stake was organized from a division of the Umuahia Nigeria Stake. Information on which wards and branches are assigned to the new stake is currently unavailable; however, the stake had seven wards and eight branches prior to division. Thus, it is likely several branches became wards or new wards were organized in order for the new stake creation to occur, or some units from the Okpuala Ngwa Nigeria Stake were included in the new stake. The Umuahia Nigeria Stake was originally organized in 1996, but the stake was discontinued and divided into two districts in 2005 (Umuahia and Okpuala Ngwa). The Umuahia Nigeria Stake was reinstated in 2014, whereas the Okpuala Ngwa Stake was organized in 2015. Significant congregational growth has occurred particularly in the Umuahia Nigeria Stake since its creation.

There are now 57 stakes and 17 districts in Nigeria.

Philippines
The Church organized a new stake in Nigeria on May 5th. The Camarin Philippines Stake was organized from a division of the Novaliches Philippines Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Bagong Silang 1st, Bagong Silang 2nd, Camarin 1st, Camarin 2nd, and the Sampaguita Wards. There are now 29 stakes in the Metro Manila area.

There are now 109 stakes and 67 districts in the Philippines

Cote d'Ivoire
The Church organized a new district on April 28th. The Danané Cote d'Ivoire District was created from missions branches in the Cote d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro Mission. The new district includes the following three branches: the Danané 1st, Danané 2nd, and Mahapleu Branches. The new district is the Church's third new district organized in Cote d'Ivoire in 2019, and all three of these new districts are located in the Montagnes District, where the Church operated no districts before 2019. Missionaries report plans to organize additional branches and districts in the Cote d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro Mission. Likely locations for future districts include Issia, Meagui, Saioua, Sinfra, and villages in rural communities nearby Daloa and Yamoussoukro. For example, there are currently plans to organize a second branch in Issia, and possibly a second branch in Saioua. A second branch was recently organized in Sinfra, and two new branches were recently organized in Meagui. Also, several new wards/branches appear likely to be organized in Daloa given recent reports from missionaries.

There are now 14 stakes and 15 districts in Cote d'Ivoire. In contrast, the Church in Cote d'Ivoire reported only three stakes and one district in 2009. Thus, the Church in Cote d'Ivoire has by far experienced the most rapid growth within the international Church during the past decade. Given recent growth trends, it appears likely that the Church may announce a second temple in Abidjan considering half of the Church's 12 stakes in the city are ready to divide, the relatively small size of the temple for the rapidly growth Church in the country, historically high levels of temple attendance, and distance from the temple site in Cocody to many of the members in Abidjan. This would be an extraordinary development if another temple were announced as the Church only recent started construction on the Church's first temple in the country, the Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Temple. Yopougon appears the most likely candidate for Abidjan's second temple given this area of the city has five stakes and is on the west city of the metropolitan area, whereas Cocody is located on the east side of the metropolitan area.

Updated Country Profile - New Caledonia

Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for New Caledonia. The Church has maintained an official presence in New Caledonia since 1961 yet reports fewer than 2,500 members and only one stake. New Caledonia has the fourth lowest percentage of Church members of any country or territory in the Pacific at 0.86%. Nevertheless, New Caledonian members are known for their faithfulness with regular temple attendance. The Church in New Caledonia has persistently experienced problems with its expansion outside of Nouméa primarily due to tribalism, leadership development problems, and small target populations. See below for the Future Prospects section of this article:

Slow membership and congregational growth in New Caledonia since the 2000s and difficulties with sustainable expansion of the Church into additional areas generate a mediocre outlook for church growth in the coming years. Additional cities may have branches or wards organized, particularly in the Nouméa area where the Church is the strongest and where most New Caledonians reside. However, the outlook for expansion into other areas of the islands appears unfavorable given persistent struggles with leadership development and tribalism in rural communities. The opening of additional cities to proselytism through efforts initiated by stake leadership, greater numbers of local members serving full-time missions, and stronger member-missionary approaches are needed to reverse slow church growth trends.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

April 2019 Monthly Newsletter - Cumorah.com

Click here to access the April 2019 monthly newsletter for www.cumorah.com.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

UPDATED - Country-by-Country Membership Statistics Released for 2018

I previously posted on the countries with the highest membership growth rates during 2018. These data came from the Church's Newsroom site at http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics. However, I have obtained additional year-end 2018 membership totals that I want to include in an updated post as there are eight additional nations that experienced an annual membership growth rate of 10% or higher during 2018.

Countries with the highest annual membership growth rates in 2018 (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, 2016, and 2017. The percentage next to the country name is the annual growth rate percentage, which is followed by the country's membership at year-end 2018. Countries in bold experienced an annual membership increase greater than 200 during 2018. Countries in red are ones added to this list with additional official membership data I have recently obtained.

  1. Guinea - 103.3% - 61 
  2. Senegal - 63.6% - 108
  3. Cuba - 47.5% - 357
  4. Oman - 30.5% - 107
  5. Rwanda - 25.7% - 749
  6. Montenegro - 21.1% - 23 
  7. North Macedonia - 20.6% - 41
  8. Angola - 19.3% - 2,933
  9. Bosnia and Herzegovina - 15.9% - 80
  10. Israel - 15.3% - 332
  11. Gabon* - 15.3% - 151
  12. Togo - 14.6% - 4,736
  13. Mozambique - 13.3% - 12,274
  14. Solomon Islands - 12.8% - 1,240
  15. Benin - 11.5% - 3,463
  16. Turks and Caicos Islands - 11.4% - 147
  17. Cote d'Ivoire - 11.1% - 48,776
  18. Morocco - 10.5% - 95
  19. Sint Maarten - 10.4% - 277
*Membership total only reflects one of the two branches as one of the Gabonese branches is incorrectly reported under the Republic of the Congo.

Also, see below for membership totals for additional countries not reported on the Church Newsroom site.
  • Bahrain - 223
  • Belarus - 511
  • Bermuda - 197
  • British Virgin Islands - 138
  • Mali* - 9
  • Qatar - 537
  • Vietnam - 2,466
*Membership appears to comprise those who live outside of the Bamako Branch under the Africa West Area Branch. The Bamako Branch is incorrectly reported under Cote d'Ivoire. However, membership in Mali appeared to increase by more than 100% during 2018. Local members report that membership nationwide appeared to be around 80-100 at year-end 2018. There were 42 members in Mali as of April 2018. 

New Districts Created in Ghana and Kenya

Ghana
The Church organized a new district in Ghana on April 28th.

The Axim Ghana District was organized from a division of the Tarkwa Ghana District (organized in 2016). The new district includes the following three branches: Axim, Esiama, and Nkroful. The Tarkwa Ghana District now has only two branches (Brenu-Akyirim and Tarkwa) and one member group (Bogoso) although the member group appears to have become a branch or may become a branch in the near future.

There are now 24 stakes and 12 districts in Ghana.

Kenya
The Church organized a new district in western Kenya.

The Kitale Kenya District was organized from a division of the Eldoret Kenya District (organized in 2011). The new district includes the following five branches: Kitale, Mautuma, Misikhu, Naitiri, and Sikhendu. The realigned Eldoret Kenya district now has four branches (all located in the city of Eldoret): Eldoret, Huruma, Langas, and Sosiani.

There are now two stakes and five districts in Kenya.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Significant Realignment of Missions in Nigeria Announced

On April 23rd, the Africa West Area Presidency announced a significant realignment of the seven missions in Nigeria. No missions will be closed or opened as part of the changes. However, the Nigeria Calabar Mission will be renamed the Nigeria Uyo Mission, which was the original name of the mission from 2002-2008, and mission headquarters will be relocated to Uyo. Here are additional changes that have been announced:
  • Reassignment of four mission branches from the Nigeria Calabar Mission to the Nigeria Enugu Mission (Ikom, Ogoja, Ugep 1st, and Ugep 2nd Branches)
  • Transfer of two stakes from the Nigeria Calabar Mission to the Nigeria Owerri Mission (Abak Nigeria Stake and Ikot Ekpene Nigeria Stake)
  • Transfer of two stakes from the Nigeria Calabar Mission to the Nigeria Port Harcourt Mission (Ikot Akpaden Nigeria Stake and Ikot Akpatek Nigeria Stake)
  • Transfer of two stakes and one district from the Nigeria Enugu Mission to the Nigeria Lagos Mission (Abuja Nigeria North Stake, Abuja Nigeria South Stake, and Jos Nigeria District)
  • Transfer of one stake and one district from the Nigeria Owerri Mission to the Nigeria Enugu Mission (Umuahia Nigeria Stake and Asaga Ohafia Nigeria District)
The area presidency announced that these changes "are being made to better position the missions in Nigeria for the future growth and establishment of the Church," and added, "We anticipate significant future growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nigeria and recognize the Lord’s hand in bringing this about."

The Church in Nigeria has indeed experienced some of the most impressive worldwide growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in recent decades. Church membership increased from 12,000 in 1989 to 42,746 in 1999, 88,374 in 2008, and 177,280 in 2018. Annual membership growth rates have exceeded 7% since 2013. The number of congregations (i.e. wards and branches) has grown from 72 in 1989 to 185 in 1999, 260 in 2008, and 649 in 2018. There has been a net increase of approximately 30 wards and branches in 2019 thus far. Stake growth in the past decade has been particularly significant with the number of stakes increasing from 16 to 56.

Despite recent progress, the Church in Nigeria remains comparatively small. Church membership accounts for only 0.087% of the population, or one Latter-day Saint per 1,148. There remain 12 states in Nigeria without a single ward or branch although most are in the predominantly Muslim north. Several cities with more than 500,000 people have no Church presence. Nigeria will also soon surpass Pakistan and Brazil in population as the world's fifth most populous country as there are now more than 200 million people. If the Church in Nigeria were to maintain the same ratio of population to missions (one mission per seven million people), there would need to be 29 missions in Nigeria.

The mission realignments announced by the area presidency have good potential to better distribute mission resources and Church units across the seven missions. Many of the changes have good potential to help the Church expand into previously unreached areas, particularly those with high population densities nearby cities with a well-established Church presence such as between Port Harcourt and Efik, and between Enugu and Umuahia. Greater expansion in Central and Northern Nigeria may occur. The Nigeria Calabar Mission previously had 14 stakes and two districts - the largest number of stakes assigned to a single mission in all of Africa. Now, the realigned Nigeria Uyo Mission will have a more manageable number of stakes with 10 stakes and two districts.

The changes also appear inspired with long-term plans to organize additional missions. For example, the Nigeria Lagos Mission will now have two separate geographical areas, one in the Lagos metropolitan area and the other including most of central and northern Nigeria. It appears that the Church may organize a mission headquartered in Abuja in the foreseeable future given this change. Also, the Church may organize a mission headquartered in Delta State to service the rapidly growing Nigeria Benin City Mission which now has 11 stakes and three districts within its boundaries.

Many new stakes will likely be organized in the near future due to steady growth in active membership and the organization of new wards and branches. See below for a list of stakes likely to divide in the near future to create additional stakes:
  • Aba Nigeria North (10 wards, 4 branches)
  • Abak Nigeria (9 wards, 1 branch) 
  • Abuja Nigeria North (10 wards, 2 branches)
  • Abuja Nigeria South (11 wards, 3 branches)
  • Benin City Nigeria Oregbeni  (9 wards, 1 branch)
  • Benin City Nigeria Ugbowo (10 wards, 3 branches) 
  • Ikot Ekpene Nigeria (11 wards, 1 branch)
  • Lagos Nigeria Ojodu (9 wards, 1 branch)
  • Lagos Nigeria Yaba (9 wards)
  • Onitsha Nigeria (10 wards, 4 branches)
  • Ukat Aran Nigeria  (11 wards, 2 branches)
  • Warri Nigeria (14 wards, 2 branches)
Many districts also appear close to becoming stakes. There are currently a total of 17 districts. See below for a list of stakes likely to be created from districts in the near future.
  • Akamkpa Nigeria (9 branches)
  • Asaga Ohafia Nigeria (7 branches)
  • Ijebu-Ode Nigeria (8 branches)
  • Jos Nigeria (8 branches)
  • Mbaise Nigeria (12 branches)
  • Ogwashi Nigeria (8 branches)
  • Okrika Nigeria (10 branches) - or division into several districts
  • Ondo Nigeria (6 branches)
  • Oron Nigeria (7 branches)
Altogether, the Church in Nigeria may add as many as 21 new stakes in the next two years.

Additionally, a couple new districts appear likely to be organized from mission branches in the near future. Probable locations with the likely number of branches include:
  • Sapele (3 branches)
  • Ugep (4 branches)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Membership by US State in 2018, Percent Membership Growth by US State in 2018

See below for a list of states in the United States ranked in order by the most members as of year-end 2018. Locations in bold do not have a temple dedicated or announced.
  1. Utah - 2,109,578
  2. California - 761,054
  3. Idaho - 456,496
  4. Arizona - 432,161
  5. Texas - 357,625
  6. Washington - 289,068
  7. Nevada - 184,565
  8. Florida - 158,617
  9. Oregon - 153,338
  10. Colorado - 150,958
  11. Virginia - 95,873
  12. North Carolina - 87,768
  13. Georgia - 85,927
  14. New York - 82,732
  15. Hawaii - 74,699
  16. Missouri - 71,774
  17. New Mexico - 69,333
  18. Wyoming - 67,421
  19. Ohio - 62,326
  20. Illinois - 57,001
  21. Pennsylvania - 51,954
  22. Tennessee - 51,863
  23. Montana - 50,333
  24. Oklahoma - 48,268
  25. Indiana - 45,395
  26. Michigan - 45,039
  27. Maryland - 44,094
  28. South Carolina - 40,887
  29. Kansas - 38,077
  30. Alabama - 37,913
  31. Kentucky - 35,779
  32. New Jersey - 33,926
  33. Minnesota - 33,331
  34. Alaska - 32,298
  35. Arkansas - 31,765
  36. Louisiana - 29,750
  37. Iowa - 28,408
  38. Massachusetts - 27,805
  39. Wisconsin - 27,003
  40. Nebraska - 25,046
  41. Mississippi - 21,561
  42. West Virginia - 17,045
  43. Connecticut - 15,834
  44. North Dakota - 11,406
  45. Maine - 10,994
  46. South Dakota - 10,654
  47. New Hampshire - 8,875
  48. Delaware - 5,620
  49. Vermont - 4,622
  50. Rhode Island - 4,165
  51. District of Columbia - 2,805
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. North Carolina +1.90%
  2. Kentucky +1.86%
  3. Delaware +1.68%
  4. Arkansas +1.63%
  5. Tennessee +1.59%
  6. North Dakota +1.44%
  7. Idaho +1.37%
  8. Texas +1.22%
  9. Florida +1.21%
  10. New Hampshire +1.19% 
  11. Indiana +1.16%
  12. Alabama +1.14%
  13. Minnesota +0.97%
  14. Arizona +0.96%
  15. Wisconsin +0.93%
  16. Utah +0.92%
  17. Iowa +0.88%
  18. Oklahoma +0.87%
  19. Maryland +0.85%
  20. Massachusetts +0.83%
  21. Missouri +0.79%
  22. Kansas +0.79%
  23. South Carolina +0.69%
  24. West Virginia +0.66%
  25. Georgia +0.66%
  26. New Jersey +0.59%
  27. Ohio +0.58%
  28. Hawaii +0.57%
  29. Virginia +0.52%
  30. Nevada +0.50%
  31. New York +0.45%
  32. Maine +0.43%
  33. Michigan +0.42%
  34. Nebraska +0.40%
  35. Pennsylvania +0.37%
  36. South Dakota +0.26%
  37. Wyoming +0.22%
  38. Washington +0.19%
  39. Vermont -0.06%
  40. Louisiana -0.12% 
  41. Montana -0.17%
  42. Illinois -0.19%
  43. Connecticut -0.23%
  44. Rhode Island -0.29%
  45. Colorado -0.31%
  46. Oregon -0.40%
  47. New Mexico -0.42%
  48. Alaska -0.58%
  49. Mississippi -0.75%
  50. California -0.81%
  51. District of Columbia -1.51%
Membership growth rates by state in 2018 were very similar compared to membership growth rates by state in 2017. The most significant development in 2018 was ongoing slowing of membership growth rates in the United States. I believe this is the first time in many decades that the annual membership growth rate did not exceed 2.0% for any state.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Updated Country Profile - Norway

Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Norway. The Church in Norway has arguably experienced one of the slowest growth rates during the past century in the worldwide Church as Church membership has increased from only 1,507 in 1930 to 4,598 in 2018. It has taken nearly 20 years for the Church to report a net increase of 600 members between the late 1990s and 2018. Most convert baptisms in recent years have appeared to be immigrants from Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The Church in Norway maintains an impressive level of national outreach as 53% of the population lives within 10 kilometers of a Church meetinghouse or a city or town with its own ward or branch. The establishment of a second stake in Drammen in 2012 indicated some progress with leadership development although the number of active members nationwide has not appeared to noticeably change in two decades. Oslo appears a likely candidate for a small temple one day as Norway is the only Nordic country with at least 1,000 members without a temple. See below for the future prospects section of the article.

The Church has established congregations in most areas and has the basic infrastructure to meet outreach needs in most areas, but secularism remains a cultural influence that has reduced receptivity. The missionary complement assigned to Norway has been cut to less than half of its prior levels without noticeably affecting growth. The Church depends heavily on the larger Latter-day Saint populations in the Oslo area and in a few additional cities such as Bergen to stabilize the national church population and looks to this region for future growth. Many members in small branches are considering moving to the Oslo area that, over time, may lead to additional consolidations of smaller branches in northern Norway. The heavy emigration of Latter-day Saints in the nineteenth century has continued, although at a slower rate in recent years and has made local growth harder to achieve. Outreach directed toward youth is needed due to low birth rates among Latter-day Saints and the small number of youth converts in order to ensure long term growth.