Friday, November 28, 2014

LDS Growth Predictions for Nigeria

Although the Church has globally posted steady gains in nominal church membership over the past 15 years, there has been a significant decline in the percentage growth rate for the number of active members as measured by increases in congregations (wards and branches) and organizations (stakes and districts). The Church has experienced some of its most dramatic declines in growth rates within Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, and Latin American nations with at least 50,000 members.

One country where the Church has experienced steady increases in congregations and organizations during this period has been Nigeria. Within the past decade the number of congregations increased from 237 to 413, the number of stakes increased from 14 to 26, and the number of districts increased from 11 to 20. The Church in 2014 alone has thus far experienced a net increase of 35 congregations; a nine percent increase within less than 12 months. The Church in Nigeria has a self-sufficient full-time missionary force staffed by members serving missions from Nigeria and surrounding nations. The Church has also implemented aggressive church planting tactics in many of the most populous cities. This has resulted in accelerated membership and congregational growth, and improvements in achieving "real growth" as measured by increases in active membership, the organization of additional stakes, and increasing numbers of members serving full-time missions.

I have created a map forecasting LDS stake and district growth in Nigeria for the next decade. I estimate that there may be as may as 69 stakes and 17 districts in Nigeria by 2025 based on recent growth trends. It is likely that there will be many more districts by 2025. Predicting where additional districts will be organized is extremely challenging as the organization of new districts in Nigeria has depended on decisions made by mission and area leaders to open cities to missionary work or redistrict outlying areas of stakes into districts.

1 comment:

Eduardo said...

Good to see the growth. Do I remember hearing about one Sierra Leone/Liberia missionary evacuee being transferred to Nigeria, or was that only Ghana and Colorado?