Sunday, March 27, 2011

2009 Membership By Country

To be used as a reference, below is a list of LDS membership in 2009 for countries and territories with a reported church presence. Countries with an asterisk have no official LDS membership totals reported and figures are estimates calculated by myself. It is important to note that membership statistics are misleading as they do not take into account member activity rates. For example, in Chile only 345,874 members were assigned to an LDS congregation in the late 2000s (60% of total membership) as the location of the remaining 210,000 members was unknown. Member activity rates for most countries range between 20-40%.

1 United States 6,058,907
2 Mexico 1,197,573
3 Brazil 1,102,674
4 Philippines 631,885
5 Chile 561,920
6 Peru 480,816
7 Argentina 380,669
8 Guatemala 220,296
9 Ecuador 190,498
10 United Kingdom 186,082
11 Canada 179,801
12 Colombia 168,514
13 Bolivia 168,396
14 Venezuela 146,987
15 Honduras 136,408
16 Australia 126,767
17 Japan 124,041
18 Dominican Republic 114,571
19 El Salvador 105,501
20 New Zealand 100,962
21 Uruguay 93,935
22 Nigeria 93,532
23 South Korea 82,472
24 Paraguay 78,220
25 Samoa 69,244
26 Nicaragua 67,275
27 Tonga 55,173
28 South Africa 51,710
29 Taiwan 51,090
30 Spain 45,729
31 Panama 45,343
32 Ghana 40,872
33 Portugal 38,509
34 Germany 37,796
35 Costa Rica 36,823
36 France 35,427
37 Hong Kong 24,114
38 Democratic Republic of Congo 23,615
39 Italy 23,430
40 French Polynesia 20,805
41 Puerto Rico 20,386
42 Russia 20,276
43 Zimbabwe 17,632
44 Papua New Guinea 17,315
45 Haiti 16,322
46 Thailand 16,195
47 Fiji 15,613
48 American Samoa 14,784
49 Ivory Coast 14,417
50 Kiribati 14,172
51 Ukraine 10,722
52 Kenya 9,370
53 Mongolia 9,239
54 Sweden 9,091
55 Cambodia 8,908
56 Netherlands 8,901
57 Sierra Leone 8,330
58 India 8,289
59 Uganda 8,216
60 Switzerland 7,947
61 Cape Verde 7,149
62 Indonesia 6,546
63 Malaysia 6,404
64 China* 6,000
65 Belgium 5,980
66 Jamaica 5,906
67 Madagascar 5,516
68 Liberia 5,251
69 Mozambique 5,079
70 Guyana 4,846
71 Marshall Is 4,725
72 Hungary 4,594
73 Finland 4,578
74 Republic of Congo 4,462
75 Denmark 4,387
76 Norway 4,206
77 Austria 4,203
78 Vanuatu 4,006
79 Micronesia 3,989
80 Belize 3,609
81 Singapore 2,938
82 Armenia 2,833
83 Romania 2,800
84 Ireland 2,799
85 Trinidad and Tobago 2,695
86 Pakistan* 2,400
87 Zambia 2,395
88 Czech Republic 2,198
89 Bulgaria 2,151
90 Guam 1,971
91 Albania 1,925
92 New Caledonia 1,890
93 Cook Islands 1,847
94 Poland 1,622
95 Sri Lanka 1,307
96 Iraq* 1,300
97 Swaziland 1,187
98 Suriname 1,162
99 Latvia 1,073
100 Togo 1,034
101 Estonia 1,010
102 Botswana 983
103 Bahamas 953
104 Tanzania 950
105 Ethiopia 949
106 Lithuania 900
107 Netherland Antilles 847
108 Cameroon 843
109 Angola 831
110 Reunion 821
111 Malawi 798
112 United Arab Emirates 786
113 Northern Mariana Islands 735
114 Greece 718
115 Afghanistan* 700
116 Barbados 677
117 Lesotho 673
118 Macau 629
119 Namibia 605
120 United States Virgin Islands 577
121 Croatia 533
122 Aruba 469
123 St. Vincent 454
124 Guadeloupe 442
125 Palau 424
126 Central African Republic 404
127 Slovenia 392
128 Cyprus 386
129 Mauritius 369
130 Equatorial Guinea 339
131 French Guiana 316
132 Solomon Islands 299
133 Moldova 294
134 Luxembourg 291
135 Isle of Man 289
136 Jersey 288
137 Serbia 288
138 Niue 278
139 Iceland 247
140 Israel 234
141 Turkey 209
142 St. Lucia 205
143 Benin 201
144 Grenada 191
145 Martinique 188
146 Antigua and Barbuda 184
147 Georgia 184
148 St. Kitts and Nevis 170
149 Slovakia 161
150 Cayman Islands 154
151 Dominica 143
152 Kazakhstan 141
153 Malta 141
154 Tuvalu 134
155 Nepal 133
156 Bermuda 130
157 Bahrain 114
158 Nauru 106
159 Burma* 100
160 Andorra 64
161 Guernsey 48
162 Rwanda 48
163 Greenland 19
164 Senegal 13

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New District in India, Madagascar Update


Last Sunday, a new district was created in India.  The Rajahmundry India District was organized in from the Visakhapatnam India District and includes the Rajahmundry 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Branches, and the Kakinada Branch.  The Visakhapatnam India District was organized in October 2009 and retained three branches in the Visakhapatnam area following the creation of the new district.  Visakhapatnam and Rajahmundry have been the site of some of the strongest LDS Church growth in India over the past decade as there was only one branch operating in the region in Rajahmundry in 2001.  There are now seven districts in India.  The Hyderabad India District appears closest to becoming a stake within the next few years.


Two Sundays ago, the Antananarivo Madagascar Stake was divided to organize the Antananarivo Madagascar Ivandry Stake with six wards and one branch.  The original Antananarivo Madagascar Stake was renamed the Antananarivo Madagascar Manakambahiny Stake and includes six wards and two branches.  There are now two stakes and two districts in Madagascar, with many potential branches likely to be organized in the coming months.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

LDS Missionaries evacuating from Japan Sendai and Japan Tokyo Missions

The Japan Kobe Mission reports that the Church is evacuating all LDS missionaries from the Japan Sendai and Japan Tokyo Missions to other missions in Japan due to the recent earthquake and tsunami.  The Church has not announced the closure of these missions and missionaries will return when the situation stabilizes.  For more information, please refer to the Japan Kobe Mission website.

New Stakes Organized in Arizona, Mexico, and Madagascar


With 13 wards and two branches, the Prescott Arizona Stake was divided last Sunday to form the Prescott Valley Arizona Stake.  The new stake includes the following eight wards: Agua Fria, Del Rio, Dewey, Glassford Hill, Mingus Foothills, Paulden, and Territorial Wards.  There are now 91 stakes in Arizona.


A new stake was created last Sunday in Mexico from a division of the Teziutlan Mexico Stake, which had 10 wards and three branches.  The Martinez de la Torre Mexico stake was organized the following five wards and two branches: Ejidal, Independencia, Martinez de la Torre, Plaza Verde, and Tlapacoyan Wards, and the Misantla and San Rafael Branches.  The Teziutlan Mexico Stake was originally organized in 1999 and has experienced steady congregational growth in recent years.  There are now 222 stakes in Mexico and 17 in Veracruz State


With 12 wards and two branches, the Antananarivo Madagascar Stake was divided to create a second stake in the city.  I will provide the name of the new stake and congregational information once it becomes available.  There are now two stakes and two districts in the country. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Stake in Colorado

Today a new stake was organized in Colorado.  This becomes the first time a new stake has been created in Colorado since 2004 when the Castle Rock Colorado Stake was organized.  The Parker Colorado Stake, which had 14 wards, was divided to create the Parker Colorado South Stake.  Being a Colorado native who lived in the Parker Colorado Stake from its creation in 1996 to 2003, I have witnesses the growth of the Church in this area as the Parker Colorado Stake was created from the Willow Creek Colorado Stake in 1996 and the Castle Rock Colorado Stake was created from the Parker Colorado Stake in 2003.  The number of LDS wards in Castle Rock increased from one in 1990 to eight in early 2011.  There were 2,700 members in the original Parker Colorado Stake in 1996 and today there are 9,600 in the three stakes that are within the original boundaries of the Parker Colorado Stake.  The rapid growth of the Church in Douglas County has come almost entirely from new move-ins from other areas.  Many additional housing developments are planned or in the construction phase in Parker and Castle Rock but are on hold due to the housing crisis.  Located just north of the Parker Colorado Stake, the Arapahoe Colorado Stake currently has 13 wards and will likely split into two stakes anytime as a new stake center was completed a couple years ago in the area.

There are now 31 stakes in Colorado.

Unprecedented LDS Church Growth in Western Papua New Guinea

The Church has entered a phase of rapid congregational growth in the Sogere area of the Western Province of Papua New Guinea as demonstrated by the number of LDS branches increasing from one to nine in a matter of a few months.  In late 2010, the Church operated one LDS branch, the Sogere Branch, in a rural, sparsely populated area which formerly pertained to the Daru Papua New Guinea District.  The Sogere Papua New Guinea District was organized before the end of 2010 when four additional branches were formed nearby Sogere (Bimaramio, Miruwo, Oropai, and Sisiami).  Since the creation of the new district, four additional branches have also been organized (Bina, Bunigi, Kamusi, and Torobina).  Notwithstanding the Sogere Papua New Guinea District is the newest LDS district in the country, it currently has the most congregations.  Each of the aforementioned branches in the Sogere area appear to function in villages with only a few hundred inhabitants.

The successive organization of so many branches in a sparsely populated area with a minimal past LDS presence is an amazing feat considering all nine branches appear to have native branch presidents.  It is unclear what sparked the rapid expansion of the Church in the area.  Some branches likely operated as dependent branches or groups until greater self-sufficiency was achieved to merit the organization of independent congregations.  The rapid expansion in the number of LDS congregations in Sogere is of paramount importance to LDS mission leaders and planners as it illustrates that success in rapid national outreach expansion in rural areas has potential to produce impressive results  I do not believe there has been any comparable breakthrough for the LDS Church in any other sparsely populated rural area of any country with over one million people to date as manifest by rapid congregational growth occurring in a matter of months.  Time will tell whether these newly organized congregations will continue to operate, whether additional congregations will continue to be organized in the area, and whether the Church can produce similar results in other areas of Papua New Guinea or other nations.

Church Growth News

New Stake in Georgia

A new stake was organized in Georgia.  The Conyers Georgia Stake was created from the Atlanta Georgia, Jonesboro Georgia (renamed Fayetteville Georgia), and Lilborn Georgia Stakes and appears to include five wards and two branches.  The new stake becomes the first new stake organized since the Cartersville Georgia Stake in 2006.  There are now 16 stakes in Georgia.   

New Stake in South Africa

Members and missionaries in the Johannesburg, South Africa area report that a new stake was organized today named the Centurion South Africa Stake.  The new stake was organized from the Pretoria South Africa Stake and is the first new stake organized since the Port Elizabeth South Africa Stake in 2005.  There are now 12 stakes and four districts in South Africa.

Church attendance climbs in Mahajanga, Madagascar

Full-time missionaries opened Mahajanga to missionary work 18 months ago and currently there are over 110 attending church meetings.  The rented facility used for church services no longer effectively administers the size of the congregation, prompting a search for a new meetinghouse.  The organization of additional congregations in Mahajanga appears highly likely within the next year as long as sufficient numbers of local priesthood holders are available.   

First district to be organized in Angola in April

Members living in Luanda report that the three branches in the city will be organized into a district this April.  The Church continues to steady grow but ongoing challenges obtaining missionary visas and adequate buildings for congregations delay greater progress. 

Area branches organized in the Middle East and Africa

Four area branches have been organized in Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia.  Prior to the organization of the new branches, there were only three area branches in operation (Asia North Area, Europe East Area, and the Middle East/Africa North Area Branches).  These new area branches appear similar if not identical to administrative branches and provide a means of organizing few members in remote areas that meet in small groups.  The Djibouti Military Branch continues to operate, bringing the number of LDS congregations in Djibouti to two.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Stake Organized in Ghana - 2,900 Stakes Worldwide

For the first time since 1998 when the Kumasi Ghana Stake was organized, a new stake was organized in Ghana from a single district.  The Assin Foso Ghana Stake was created last Sunday and includes seven wards and one branch.  There are now eight stakes and five districts in Ghana. 

Worldwide there are now 2,900 LDS stakes.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Church Growth News

Stake discontinued in Australia

For the first time in LDS Church history in Australia, a stake was discontinued. The Sydney Australia Parramatta Stake was consolidated into several neighboring stakes in the Sydney area.  The number of congregations in many Australian stakes is much lower than other nations, which jeopardizes the continued operation of some stakes if large numbers of members move away and few new converts are baptized and retained.  Overall Australia has experienced moderate membership growth rates among industrialized nations but has experienced stagnant congregational growth.  For more information about the Church in Australia, please refer to an article written by me and David Stewart at

Approximately a dozen new branches to be organized in Sierra Leone and Liberia in 2011

Full-time missionaries serving in the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission that plans are being finalized to organize approximately a dozen new branches in Sierra Leone and Liberia.  The Church has experienced little congregational growth in both nations between the mid-1990s and 2009 notwithstanding LDS membership grew rapidly.  Missionaries also report that a future stake may soon be organized from one of the Monrovia districts.  

New wards in Nairobi, Kenya

For the first time since the organization of the Nairobi Kenya Stake in 2001, the Church has organized new wards in Nairobi, Kenya.  The Mountain View Ward (formerly the Westlands Branch) and the Kayole Ward were organized.  There are now seven wards and two branches in the stake.  LDS mission outreach remains severely limited in Nairobi as nine congregations provide outreach to a population of over three million.  Prospects appear favorable for the opening of additional congregations in Nairobi and the formation of districts for the dozens of mission branches in the coming years.

New branch established in remote area of Mozambique

One of the most remote LDS congregations in Africa, the Luaha Branch was officially organized from the Luaha Group and becomes the 19th LDS branch in Mozambique.  Latter-day Saints have lived in Luaha for several years and have demonstrated a strong degree of responsibility and desire regarding the gospel.  For more information about the Church in Luaha, please refer to an article posted on the Church's South Africa website at

Administrative branches discontinued for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo

Following the organization of the Pristina and Sarajevo Branches, the Church has discontinued the administrative branches for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.  Administrative branches continue to operate in Macedonia, Montenegro, and the Falkland Islands. 

District discontinued in Spain

Comprising three branches stretched over a large geographical area, the Valladolid Spain District was discontinued.  The Valladolid Branch now pertains to the Leon Spain District whereas the Salamanca and Segovia Branches are now mission branches under the Spain Madrid Mission.

Mormon Channel interview with former Nicaragua Managua Mission president

The Mormon Channel's Into All the World program conducted a phone interview with President Fraatz, the former mission president of the Nicaragua Managua Mission who served from 2007-2010.  Former President Fraatz reported that church attendance among many LDS wards in the Managua area had increased dramatically in recent months, with several wards now reporting over 200 active members.  Fraatz predicted that three to five new stakes would be organized in the new future due to strong growth and higher convert retention.  The interview can be found on the right-hand side of this blog and is interview number 51.