Sunday, September 11, 2022

New Temple Predictions - September 2022 Edition

I have updated my temple prediction map in preparation for General Conference in October. Historically, data used to identify probable locations for future temples include the size of the Church in a specific geographical area (i.e. number of stakes and districts, the number of wards and branches), the age of the oldest stake in a specific geographical area, church growth trends, distance to the nearest temple, the square-footage of the nearest temple, the historical number of weekly endowment sessions scheduled at the nearest temple, and member and missionary reports regarding member activity, temple attendance, and convert retention. I have made updates to the current predictions map given recent trends in temple announcements that have favored locations distant to the nearest temple where there are at least two stakes that would be serviced by a temple. Altogether, there are 163 potential temples on the map (27 more like temples, 137 less likely temples).

Thirty-three (33) less likely locations and two more likely locations were added to the temple prediction map in September 2022. Most of these locations have not experienced significant church growth in recent years, but many of these locations appear likely candidates for a future small temple due to remote location. Many of the Church's recently announced temples have been in locations with few Latter-day Saints but where there is sufficient membership to support a small temple. Locations added to the temples prediction map for September 2022 include:

  • Resistencia, Argentina 
  • Kingman, Arizona 
  • Page, Arizona
  • Yuma, Arizona 
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Araçatuba, Brazil  
  • Goiânia, Brazil 
  • Passo Fundo, Brazil 
  • Redding, California 
  • San Jose, California (more likely)
  • Santa Maria, California 
  • Santa Rosa, California
  • La Serena, Chile 
  • Rancagua, Chile
  • Bucaramanga, Colombia 
  • Medellín, Colombia
  • Otavalo, Ecuador 
  • Pensacola, Florida 
  • Düsseldorf, Germany OR Dortmund, Germany 
  • Bloomington, Illinois 
  • Acapulco, Mexico 
  • Mexicali, Mexico 
  • Poza Rica, Mexico
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan 
  • Great Falls, Montana
  • Hastings, New Zealand 
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Cincinnati, Ohio Temple OR Dayton, Ohio 
  • Bend, Oregon 
  • Huánuco, Peru 
  • Barquisimeto, Venezuela 
  • Guayana City, Venezuela 
  • Valencia, Venezuela 

The following prospective temple was transferred from the less likely category to the more likely category:

  • São José, Brazil

The following 10 locations appear most likely to have temples announced this coming General Conference. You are welcome to provide your top 10 picks for temple announcements in the comments below.

  1. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  2. Spanish Fork, Utah 
  3. Charlotte, North Carolina
  4. Santiago/Tuguegarao Philippines
  5. Angeles or Olongapo, Philippines 
  6. Tacoma Washington
  7. Colorado Springs, Colorado 
  8. Kampala, Uganda
  9. Iquitos, Peru 
  10. São José, Brazil

See below for the map of likely and less likely new temple sites:

 

Monday, September 5, 2022

August 2022 Newsletter

Click here to access the August 2022 Newsletter for cumorah.com. Notable updates include the creation of a new branch in Gabon, a member group established in the third largest city in Piauí State, Brazil, and the creation of a third stake in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

New Stakes Created in Mexico and Utah

 Mexico

The Church organized a new stake in the northern Mexican city of San Luis Potosi on August 21st The San Luis Potosi Mexico Industrias Stake was organized from a division of the San Luis Potosí México Benito Juárez Stake and the San Luis Potosí México Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Españita, Independencia, Industrias, Las Joyas, Oriente, and Prados Wards. There are now three stakes in the city with the two previous stakes being organized in 1981 and 1996. The Church announced a temple for San Luis Potosi in April 2022.

There are now 226 stakes and 47 districts in Mexico.

Utah

The Church organized a new stake in Syracuse, Utah on August 21st. The Syracuse Utah Fremont Park Stake was organized from a division of the Syracuse Utah West Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Eagle Estates, Fremont, Glen Eagle 1st, Lakeshore, Miller Springs, Trailside, and Turnberry Wards. There are now seven stakes in Syracuse. 

There are now 627 stakes and two districts in Utah.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

July 2022 Newsletter

 Click here to access the July 2022 Newsletter for cumorah.com.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

First Branch Created in North Cyprus

Last Sunday, the Church organized its first branch in North Cyprus and the Church's first meetinghouse in North Cyprus was also dedicated with approximately 100 in attendance. This marks one of the first times, if not the first time, in Church history when an official branch has been organized in a de facto country. The Church has generally avoided de facto nations, such as Transnistria and Abkhazia, largely due to a lack of mission resources in neighboring countries, the unclear legal status of these nations and whether proselytism is permitted, and political instability. It is unclear what city the new branch in Cyprus operates in, but it appears that it likely meets in northern Nicosia. Branch members appears to have highly diverse backgrounds with many from African nations. The new branch pertains to the Nicosia Cyprus District in the Adriatic South Mission. Essentially all Latter-day Saints in Cyprus speak English, and Church meetings are held in English. Extremely few native Cypriots have joined the Church in Cyprus. There were 534 Latter-day Saints in Cyprus as of year-end 2021. Approximately 20% of Church membership in Cyprus regularly attended church meetings in the late 2010s. For more information on the Church in Cyprus, click here.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Self-Affiliated Latter-day Saints in Mexico: 2010 vs 2020 Censuses

Recently, statistical data was released from the 2020 Mexican census. This data provides valuable insights into member activity and growth patterns in membership for the Church in Mexico compared to prior censuses. See below for a table that displays 2010 and 2020 census data regarding the number of Latter-day Saints by administrative division in Mexico. It is important to note that self-affiliation as measured by what people report on the census is not a perfect measurement of the total number of self-identified Latter-day Saints in a particular country. However, most self-identified Latter-day Saints appear to self-affiliate as Latter-day Saints in the census, so this statistic can provide valuable insights into the number of active members. The Church does not publish a breakdown of its membership by Mexican state.

Mexican States with the highest percentage of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints on the 2020 census include:

  1. Yucatán - 0.51%
  2. Chihuahua - 0.47%
  3. Hidalgo - 0.45%
  4. Quintana Roo - 0.43%
  5. Tamaulipas - 0.40%
  6. Morelos - 0.40%
  7. Sonora - 0.38%
  8. Campeche - 0.36%
  9. Coahuila de Zaragoza - 0.35%
  10. Baja California - 0.34%

Mexican states with the lowest percentage of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints on the 2020 census include:

  1. Michoacán de Ocampo - 0.08%
  2. Guanajuato - 0.09%
  3. Zacatecas - 0.11%
  4. Jalisco - 0.12%
  5. Nayarit - 0.14%
  6. San Luis Potosí - 0.14%
  7. Guerrero - 0.14%
  8. Chiapas - 0.16%
  9. Colima - 0.17%
  10. Tlaxcala - 0.17%

These data indicate that self-affiliated Latter-day Saints generally comprise the highest percentages of the population in Mexico in the Yucatán Peninsula and in northern Mexico along the United States border and the lowest percentage of the population in central Mexico west of Mexico City. 

The number of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints increased by the highest percentage in the following states between 2010 and 2020:

  1. Querétaro - 66.2%
  2. Quintana Roo - 21.5%
  3. Hidalgo - 17.9%
  4. Puebla - 17.6%
  5. Tlaxcala - 17.4%
  6. Nuevo León - 14.7%
  7. Oaxaca - 14.0%
  8. Yucatán - 13.1%
  9. Tabasco - 12.3%
  10. Durango - 11.8%

The number of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints decreased by the highest percentage, or increased at the smallest percentage, in the following states between 2010 and 2020:

  1.  Colima - -9.7%
  2. Guerrero - -8.9%
  3. Michoacán de Ocampo - -6.8%
  4. Coahuila de Zaragoza - -6.6%
  5. Nayarit - -6.1%
  6. Sonora - -1.5%
  7. Baja California - -0.3%
  8. Sinaloa - -0.1%
  9. Ciudad de México - 0.3%
  10. Chiapas - 1.9%

The percentage of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints in the population increased in only seven states between 2010 and 2020, including:

  1. Querétaro - 0.05%
  2. Oaxaca - 0.01%
  3. Puebla - 0.01%
  4. Tabasco - 0.01%
  5. Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave - 0.01%
  6. Hidalgo - 0.01%
  7. Tlaxcala - 0.004%

On the contrary, the percentage of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints in the population decreased most rapidly in the following states between 2010 and 2020:

  1. Coahuila de Zaragoza - -0.08%
  2. Baja California - -0.07%
  3. Quintana Roo - -0.07%
  4. Baja California Sur - -0.05%
  5. Sonora - -0.05%
  6. Colima - -0.04%
  7. Morelos - -0.03%
  8. Nayarit - -0.03%
  9. Sinaloa - -0.03%
  10. Nuevo León - -0.03%

Overall, the percentage of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints in the population slightly decreased from 0.24% to 0.22% between 2010 and 2020. The 2010 census reported 314,932 Latter-day Saints, whereas the 2020 census reported 337,998 Latter-day Saints. There was a net increase of only 23,066 self-affiliated Latter-day Saints between 2010 and 2020, whereas Church-reported membership increased by 246,985. Thus, the increase in the number of census-reported Latter-day Saints was 9.3% of the Church-reported increase in membership during this time. The Church in Mexico has struggled for decades with low convert retention and member activity rates. Probably only 20% of Church-reported membership in Mexico regularly attends church - a percentage that has not appeared to have significantly changed in the past two decades based on survey data from returned missionaries and local members and census data (i.e., 23.2% of Church-reported membership self-affiliated on the census in 2000). The number of Latter-day Saint congregations in Mexico decreased between 2010 and 2020 from 2,007 to 1,843 primarily due to the consolidation of wards with few active members. Moreover, Latter-day Saints are the most urbanized religious group among the largest religious groups on the Mexican census, and this appears primarily attributed to the centers of strength policy. Two-thirds (65.4%) of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints in 2010 resided in cities of 100,000 or more people—the highest percentage of any other major religious group in Mexico. Only 47.7% of Mexicans lived in such cities at the time. There has also been research that indicates Latter-day Saint families in Mexico have fewer children than non-Latter-day Saint families in Mexico per Fox K (2011) Mormon fertility in Latin America found in the BYU Scholars Archive.

Querétaro stands out as an anomaly in the data for Latter-day Saints given a whopping increase of 66.2% in self-affiliated Latter-day Saints between 2010 and 2020. Moreover, Querétaro was the only Mexican state where the percentage of Latter-day Saints in the population increased by more than 0.01% during this period. Local members report that Querétaro is an important emerging economic center in Mexico that has attracted many young families who work in the tech industry. Thus, much of the growth in membership in Querétaro appears attributed to Latter-day Saint families moving to the city.

Click on the image below to see the data table for the statistical data I presented above. Data from 2010 was presented and analyzed in this post.



Sunday, July 17, 2022

New Stake Created in Mexico and Preview of 2020 Mexican Census Numbers

Last Sunday, the Church organized a new stake in the city of Querétaro. The Querétaro México Stake was divided to organize the new Querétaro México Valle Stake. The new stake includes the following four wards and two branches: the Fresnos, Juriquilla, Satelite, and Valle Wards, and the San Jose de Itubide and San Luis de la Paz Branches. With only four wards, the creation of additional wards appears imminent. There are now four stakes in the city of Querétaro where the Church organized its first stake in 1995. The Church in Querétaro has generally organized one new stake every decade. The Querétaro Mexico Temple was announced in April 2021.

The 2020 Mexican Census indicated that the number of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints in Querétaro State increased by a whopping 66.2% from 2010 - the largest percentage increase of any state in Mexico during that time period. This percentage increase was more than twice the rate of population growth during that same period. Young families, particularly those with professional training, have reportedly been moving to Querétaro in appreciable numbers during the past decade based upon local member reports. This growth has also likely contributed to the announcement of a temple in the city in 2021. Although these statistics are very positive, the number of self-reported Latter-day Saints in Mexico as a whole increased by only 7.3% between 2010 and 2020 even though Church-reported membership increased by 23.7% during this time period. I will be posting an analysis of the 2020 Mexican Census numbers in the coming days.

There are now 225 stakes and 47 districts in Mexico.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Number of Branches in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania Doubles from Eight to Sixteen

The Church in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania recently organized eight new branches in the city, thereby doubling the number of branches from eight to 16. This marks one of the largest numbers of new congregations organized in a city in a single event in Church history. At least one of these new branches (Pugu) previously operated as a member group. Recently returned full-time missionaries who served in the Tanzania Dar Es Salaam Mission report that the mission has placed an emphasis on the organization of member groups in lesser-reached urban areas in cities, and that there has been a preference to organize new branches to improve the accessibility of the Church to the urban population rather than organize a stake in Dar Es Salaam as soon as possible. The creation of a second district in Dar Es Salaam appears imminent given there are 16 branches in a single district. Dar Es Salaam is one of the most populous urban agglomerations in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated 6.75 million people as of early 2022.

This rapid expansions of the Church in Dar Es Salaam is undoubtedly due to the organization of the Tanzania Dar Es Salaam Mission - the first mission ever created in the country - which was created in 2020 from a division of the Kenya Nairobi Mission. The new mission has channeled greater mission resources and oversight into the Church's missionary and outreach expansion efforts. Recently, a member group was established in the city of Dodoma, the first branch was created in Moshi, and two new branches were organized in Arusha. There are several additional cities with isolated members that may have member groups organized soon. Furthermore, the Church also officially transitioned from English to Swahili as the language used in church services and proselytism several years ago. These developments have resulted in an acceleration of membership growth since 2019 as there was a 28.8% increase in membership between year-end 2019 and year-end 2021. Nevertheless, Church membership in Tanzania remains extremely small (2,309 members as of year-end 2021), and the Church has historically experienced slow growth since its initial establishment approximately 30 years ago.

Monday, July 11, 2022

New Stake Created in the Philippines

Yesterday, the Church in the Philippines organized a new stake from a district. The Mati Philippines Stake was organized from the Mati Philippines District (originally organized in 1988). All five branches in the former district appear to have become wards in the new stake. The Mati Philippines Stake is the fourth stake to operate in the Philippines Butuan Mission (organized in 2006) which services eastern Mindanao. The other three stakes in the mission were organized in Butuan (1989), San Francisco (2018), and Tagum (2021).

There are now 124 stakes and 55 districts in the Philippines.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

New Stakes Created in Nigeria (5), Utah (5), Cote d'Ivoire (2), and Mexico (2); New District Created in Sierra Leone; Stakes Discontined in Japan (3), California (2), Australia, and the United Kingdom; Districts Discontinued in Japan (2) and Cote d'Ivoire

Nigeria

The Church organized five new stakes in Nigeria during the months of May and June. 

The Church organized the Aba Nigeria Osisioma Stake on May 15th from a division of the Aba Nigeria North Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Abayi 2nd, Osisioma 1st, Osisioma 2nd, Osisioma 3rd, Osisioma 5th, and Owerrinta Wards and the Osisioma 4th Branch. The new stake is the Church's fifth stake in Aba. Of the five stakes now in Aba, three have been organized since 2015. Aba is the location of the Church's only operating temple in Nigeria.

The Church organized the Ohafia Nigeria Stake from the Asaga Ohafia Nigeria District (originally organized in 2014) and one branch from the Abakaliki Nigeria Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the Abiriba, Akanu, Amuma, Asaga Ohafia 2nd, Ebem, and Isiama Wards, and the Asaga Ohafia 1st and Edda Branches.

The Akamkpa Nigeria Stake was organized on June 12th from the Akamkpa Nigeria District (organized in 1998). The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the Akamkpa Urban, Awi, Ayeabam, Ikami, Iwuru Central, and Uyanga Wards, and the Akamkpa and Mbarakom Branches. The former district was one of the oldest districts in Nigeria that had not become a stake yet. Only the Jos Nigeria District is older which was organized in 1993.

The Church organized two new stakes in Lagos. The Lagos Nigeria Ikorodu Stake was organized on June 19th from the Lagos Nigeria Ojodu Stake (organized in 2018), whereas the Lagos Nigeria Ikotun Stake was organized from the Lagos Nigeria Egbeda Stake on June 26th. The Lagos Nigeria Ikorodu Stake includes the following six wards: the Gberigbe, Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Imota, Itamaga, and Ketu Wards. All but one of the congregations in the Lagos Nigeria Ikorodu Stake operate in the city of Ikorodu where the first branch was organized in 2009. The Lagos Nigeria Ikotun Stake includes the following seven wards: the Akesan, Egan, Ejigbo, Igando, Ikotun, Isolo, and Jakande Wards. There are now eight wards in the Lagos metropolitan area. At least one more stake in Lagos appears likely to divide within the near future, the Lagos Nigeria Yaba Stake, which has 11 wards.

There are now 68 stakes and 15 districts in Nigeria. Provided with current stake totals in parentheses, Nigeria is the country with the eighth most stakes following the United States (1,677), Brazil (281), Mexico (224), Philippines (123), Peru (112), Argentina (78), and Chile (74). However, it is important to note that Church membership in Nigeria as of year-end 2021 (211,000) is nearly one-third of Church membership for Chile (603,000) which has only six more stakes than Nigeria. This is primarily due to significantly higher member activity rates in Nigeria compared to Chile and all other countries with 400,000 or more Latter-day Saints on Church records.

Utah

The Church organized five new stakes in Utah between April and June. 

The Eagle Mountain Utah Eagle Valley Stake was organized on April 24th from the Eagle Mountain Utah Central Stake and the Eagle Mountain Utah West Stake. The new stake includes the following eight wards: the Cedar Trails, Eagle Crest, Eagle Mountain 6th, Frontier, Heritage, Lake Mountain, Landing, and Summit Wards. There are now 10 stakes in Eagle Mountain.

The Lehi Utah Meadow View Stake was organized on April 24th from the Lehi Utah East Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Lehi 4th, Lehi 14th, Lehi 17th, Lehi 34th, Lehi 36th, and Lehi 46th Wards and the Lehi 50th Branch (Care Center). There are now 19 stakes in Lehi.

The St. George Utah Hidden Valley Stake was organized on May 1st from a division of the St George Utah Bloomington Hills Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Bloomington Hills 5th, Desert Hills, Hidden Valley, Highland Hills, Parkway, Price Hills, and White Sage Wards. There are now 20 stakes in St. George. 

The Herriman Utah Mountain Ridge Stake was organized on May 22nd from a division of the Herriman Utah Mountain View Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Juniper Canyon, Meadow Rose, Park House, Saddle Brook, Shadow Run, and South Hills Wards. There are now 11 stakes in Herriman.

The Vineyard Utah Springwater Stake was organized from a division of the Vineyard Utah Stake. The new stake includes the following nine wards and one branch: the Springwater 1st, Springwater 2nd, Springwater 3rd (Spanish), Springwater 4th, Springwater 5th, Springwater 6th, Springwater 7th, Springwater 8th, and Springwater 9th Wards and the Geneva (Care Center) Branch. There are now three stakes in Vineyard.

There are now 626 stakes and two districts in Utah

Cote d'Ivoire

Two new stakes were recently organized in Cote d'Ivoire. Also, one district was discontinued. The Quatre Etages Cote d'Ivoire was organized on May 29th from the Abobo Cote d'Ivoire East Stake and the Dokui Cote d'Ivoire Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Abobo, Agbekoi
Belleville 1st, Belleville 2nd, Plaque 1st, Plaque 2nd, and Quatre Etages Wards. There are now 15 stakes in Abidjan - more than any other metropolitan area on the Afro-Eurasian landmass.

The Church organized the Gagnoa Cote d'Ivoire Stake on June 19th, 2022 from the Gagnoa Cote d'Ivoire District (originally organized in 2014) and the Divo Cote d'Ivoire District (originally organized in 2015). Mission leaders had worked for approximately two years to prepare the districts to become a single stake. The Divo Cote d'Ivoire district was discontinued when the new stake was organized. Also, the new stake is entirely within the boundaries of the Cote d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro Mission. The new stake includes the following four wards and eight branches: the Divo, Dougako, Konankro, and Plateau Wards, and the Babre, Baruhio, Garahio, Guiberoua, Lakota, Ouragahio, Soleil, and Zapata Branches. All four wards in the new stake are located in Divo. It appears that updates have not been made to the Church's meetinghouse locator website in regard to which branches in Gagnoa advanced to ward status. One branch was discontinued as part of the creation of the new stake (Plateau 2nd). Gagnoa is the third city outside of the Abidjan metropolitan area to have had a stake organized following Yamoussoukro (2015) and Daloa (2017). 

There are now 18 stakes and 15 districts in Cote d'Ivoire.

Mexico

Two new stakes were organized in Mexico on June 5th.

The Nealtican México South was organized from a division of the Nealtican Mexico North Stake and the Nealtican Mexico South Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Carranza, Citlalli, Independencia, Prolongación, Yetlaneci, and Zaragoza Wards. There are now three stakes in the small city of San Buenaventura Nealtican which has a population of 13,243. The last time a new stake was created in the city was in 2012. No other city in Mexico with at least 10,000 people has as high of a concentration of Latter-day Saints as San Buenaventura Nealtican.

The Oaxaca México Brenamiel was organized from a division of the Oaxaca Mexico Monte Alban Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Casa Blanca, Cosijoeza, Guelaguetza, Lindavista, Marquesado, and Montoya Wards. The new stake is the Church's first new stake organized in Oaxaca since 2000. There are now five stakes in the city of Oaxaca. 

There are now 224 stakes and 47 districts in Mexico. The Church in Mexico reached an all-time high of 230 stakes in 2015, and the number of stakes declined to 220 in 2018 after massive congregation consolidations across most major cities in Mexico.

Sierra Leone

A new district was organized in rural Sierra Leone in a region known as Sierra Rutile. The Moriba Town Sierra Leone District was organized on June 26th from five mission branches, namely the Matagalemah, Matru Jong, Mogbwemo, Moriba Town, and Mosenesie Junction Branches. Two groups also operate within the new district: Gbangbatok and Mukongi. The first three branches in the area were organized in 2017. The creation of the new district also coincided with the completion of the first Church-built meetinghouse in the area. At least one other meetinghouse is also under construction in the area. 

There are now nine stakes and two districts in Sierra Leone.

Japan

Three stakes and two districts were discontinued in Japan in two separate events on Hokkaido and in the Osaka metropolitan area. 

On Hokkaido, the number of stakes decreased from three to two and the sole district on the island was discontinued. The discontinued Asahikawa Japan Stake was organized in 1998, whereas the discontinued Kushiro Japan District was organized in 1974. There were also at least three wards and three branches that were discontinued as part of the discontinuation of the stake and district. Unlike essentially every other area of Japan, the Church in Hokkaido had not undergone a significant reorganization of congregations and closure of stakes/districts. For example, 20 years ago there were nearly the same number of wards/branches on Hokkaido as there were prior to April 2022.

In Osaka, two stakes were discontinued, namely the Osaka Japan North Stake (organized in 1977) and the Osaka Japan Sakai Stake (organized in 1982). Also, the Church discontinued the Fukuchiyama Japan District (organized in 1980). The Church has experienced some of the most significant decline in the number of congregations and stakes/districts in the Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto area. There are now only three stakes in the metropolitan area and surrounding regions, whereas there were six stakes and two districts in 2000. At one point, the Church also briefly operated a second stake in Kyoto from 1992-1993. Moreover, the Church in Japan closed its only ward or branch in 13 cities during the past two months—10 of which were in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area. Most of these cities had a ward or branch continuously operating for 40-50 years, and now members must travel to another city to attend church unless member groups may function under the supervision of a nearby ward or branch. However, it is important to note that most of the wards and branches closed as part of this consolidation have had few active members for many years. For example, many of the wards closed in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area have had 50 or fewer active members for at least 5-7 years. 

There are now 22 stakes and 11 districts in Japan. In contrast, the Church in Japan reached an all-time high of 31 stakes and 19 districts in 2000.

California

Two stakes were discontinued in the East Bay area of California. During the month of June, two stakes in the East Bay area closed. The Concord California Stake was originally organized in 1963, whereas the Hayward California Stake was organized in 1956. The decision to discontinue these stakes came as no surprise given they had the minimum number of congregations to function as stakes and that there has been a steady decline in the number of members in the area for decades which has resulted in steady consolidations of wards. There are now 145 stakes in California—down from an all-time high of 162 stakes in 1995.

Australia

The Church in Australia discontinued the Gosford Australia Stake in June, marking only the second time a stake has been discontinued in Australia. The only other time the Church has discontinued a stake in Australia was in 2011 when the Sydney Australia Parramatta Stake was discontinued. Interestingly, the Sydney Australia Parramatta and the Gosford Australia Stake both operated in the same approximate geographical area in northern Sydney. The Gosford Australia Stake was organized only back in 2015. The Gosford Australia Stake had five wards prior to its discontinuation, although it used to have six wards prior to the closure of the Toukley Ward. During the past decade, new stakes have been organized in Australia in 2019, 2018, 2016 (2), 2015 (1), 2013 (3), and 2012 (2). Only one district in Australia has been discontinued in the past decade (Mildura in 2015). Also, the Australian government recently released the 2021 census data which indicated the number of self-identified Latter-day Saints decreased between 2016 and 2021 from 60,864 to 57,868. In contrast, official membership totals for Australia increased from 148,862 to 155,383. Thus, these data suggest that the number of active Latter-day Saints may have decreased during this period, albeit it is also possible that fewer less-active or inactive members on Church records self-affiliated as Latter-day Saints in 2021 versus 2016.  

United Kingdom

The Church in the United Kingdom discontinued a stake for the first time in Church history. The Lichfield England Stake was originally organized in 1977 and was discontinued in June. The stake had eight wards prior to its discontinuation, and there were two wards in the former stake that were also discontinued. Retained wards in the stake were reassigned to the neighboring Birmingham England Stake and the Coventry England Stake. It is important to note that each of these two stakes had only five wards and one branch prior to the closure of the Lichfield England Stake. Thus, the discontinuation of the stake appeared prompted to strengthen these two stakes as there were enough wards in the Lichfield England Stake to continue to operate even after two wards were closed. One ward in the Birmingham England Stake was closed as part of the stake realignment. Only one other ward had closed in the Birmingham England Stake within the past decade (Sheldon). In 2001, there were five wards and two branches in the Birmingham England Stake, seven wards and one branch in the Lichfield England Stake, and six wards and two branches in the Coventry England Stake. Thus, there has not been a significant decline or change in the number of congregations in the Birmingham/Coventry area during the past two decades until the closure of three wards and one stake in June 2022. It is possible that these changes may be due to preparations to free more leadership to staff the future Birmingham England Temple. However, it appears that the greatest contribution to the decision to close the stake has been essentially stagnant membership growth rates combined with probable decreases in member activity in the area during the past couple decades. Nevertheless, the number of active members in several wards within the area were representative for most of the British Isles as of the mid-2010s.

NOTE: Material presented in the current post regarding discontinued stakes and districts was taken from the June 2022 monthly newsletter for cumorah.com.