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.

30 comments:

Ohhappydane33 said...

Interesting that an ongoing topic of discussion here is when Idaho will surpass California in number of stakes even though California still has far more members than Idaho and it's not even close. Of course, Idaho has all those YSA stakes in and around Rexburg, most of which have essentially 100% activity rates, so the comparison isn't as simple as it seems on its surface.

MainTour said...

Friday's announcement about 4-year seismic renovation of the SLC Temple has to be very expensive. I wonder what fiscal impact that will have on the overall temple construction budget?

James Anderson said...

That expense may in part be defrayed by an increase in donations to the Temple Construction Fund. Funds donatd there go to any temple that is planned or under construction, so some of that money may likely help there.

The Utah growth number indicates a total growth in Utah of about 20,000. What that breaks down to in terms of move-ins, converts, and natural growth (children of record baptized) minus deaths and other reasons is the unknown. But general authority seventies in the old South area indicate the same year over year pattern for several years now.

Eduardo said...

I have heard for many years (since the 1990s) that the second biggest organized faith in California is the Church of Jesus Christ LDS.
I wonder if this is true now after years of stagnant growth? Baptists and other Protestants tend to be divided so perhaps this is still true.
The numbers of Muslims and Buddhists must have increased over time...

Eduardo said...

The top growth states can be explained a lot by increased job and subsequent population growth. I wonder if Delaware has been experiencing this lately or not?
Virginia used to be faster growing. Hopefully the Richmond temple and the re-dedication of the DC temple could spur some more growth in the Old Dominion State. Loudoun County and other DC South Mission counties definitely continue to grow, while convert baptisms are difficult to come by.
I am curious about the U.S. territories, led by American Samoa and Guam.

William P said...

I know my comment isn't about the US but did anyone else see this article about the growth in Kiribati, I guess a temple isn't off the cards here with relation to Guam. Since January, 5 new branches have been created, a new district will be formed in hopes of a stake next. Sorry if this info has already been shared here in the last few weeks or so.

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org.nz/article/accelerated-church-growth-in-kiribati

Christopher Nicholson said...

Anecdotally, I know some Latter-day Saints who have moved *to* California. For jobs, yes, and in one case my friend was thrilled to move somewhere that she fits in much better politically and culturally than in Utah. Obviously they don't balance out, but I wonder how much the move-ins are in proportion to the move-outs. My sister is leaving for the San Fransisco/Oakland Spanish-speaking mission soon and of course I wish her many conversions.

Good to hear about Kiribati. At this point, frankly, I don't think any location with at least one stake is "off the cards". President Nelson has announced temples for several locations where it seems like the number of members won't possibly be able to keep them remotely busy. Putting them within a convenient distance for members is obviously an even higher priority for him than his predecessors. I also noticed that he announced three island locations in each of the last two conferences. If Guam and Okinawa can get temples, Kiribati has more than a good chance.

Tierra del Fuego is getting upgraded to a stake soon. Will that be the southernmost stake in the world? Given President Nelson's established pattern, I put Punta Arenas in my temple predictions despite the paucity of church units, because that region is very far from any temple in Chile or Argentina. It seems even more likely now.

Here's an article about Brazil as well. https://www.lds.org/church/news/elder-soares-returns-to-his-childhood-neighborhood-in-brazil-during-recent-assignment?lang=eng&cid=FBG_4_22_19_soaresvisitshome&fbclid=IwAR1UYcAQgaRHZGNawF_kRN2vFcr46SPNzD51PDLAotfMJxX6Ue0NEIUoDMI

(The other day when I went to lds.org, I saw that it had finally actually changed to churchofjesuschrist.org, but now it's back to the usual. Strange.)

Ryan Searcy said...

There were even some temples announced before a stake was even in the region. Laie and Kyiv are the 2 that immediately come to mind. Not sure if Freiberg is one of them. St. George, Logan, Manti, and Salt Lake. Granted, a lot of these are much older temples (Kyiv was announced in the late '90s), but it could still happen.

Ryan Searcy said...

St. George, Logan, Manti, and Salt Lake might fall under that too, but I don't know when their first stakes were created.

twinnumerouno said...

I don't have any way to look it up now, but I was thinking that Hamilton and Bern, or maybe London, were at least announced before they had a single stake.

The Chatelain's said...

Most of the Utah original stakes were created in 1877.

Christopher Duerig said...

Did anyone else notice the subtle details from the article about Elder Soares recent travel to Sao Paulo Brazil.

https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2019-04-22/brazil-sao-paulo-lds-elder-soares-president-nelson-49556

"Just miles from where he grew up as a child in northern Sao Paulo, Brazil — not far from the city’s GUARULHOS"...

Also, https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2019-03-07/gathering-israel-elder-renlund-visits-latter-day-saints-in-remote-areas-of-argentina-and-chile-49131

"Following a tight, nine-day travel schedule (Feb. 15 to Feb. 24), Elder Renlund and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, along with members of the South America South Area Presidency, visited some of the most remote areas of Chile and Argentina. .....

Elder Dale G. Renlund fist bumps a young girl while greeting her family following a devotional for women in Antofagasta, Chile, on Feb. 15, 2019. His wife, Sister Ruth Renlund, is also pictured to his right. Photo: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Speaking of a gathering in Ushuaia, Argentina, Elder Bragg noted that more than 600 people attended — representing the majority of active members throughout the remote southern district of Tierra del Fuego."

Maybe scouting out possible future sites? Sao Paulo Brazil Guarulhos is on Matt´s less likely list of Temple Candidates. And with the soon to be Tierra del Fuego Argentina District to be reorganized as Stake, considering Pres. Nelson announcing several remote locations, i.e. Yigo Guam, Praia Cabo Verde, San Juan Puerto Rico, etc.

James Anderson said...

Guarulhos is still inside the urban core of the Sao Paulo metro area, in fact it is the city the international airport is located in and is one of the larger suburbs that make up that area. Still inside Rodoanel Mario Covas (SP-021( which goes around the entire metro area except western Osasco, Cotia, and several other cities in the west part of the metro.

BryanBaird84 said...

If California's membership had gone up instead of down they would have probably reached 1 million members by now or at least close to it.

David Todd said...

Well, I think Guarulhos is worthy of being mentioned in its own right as it is a massive city of over 1 million people and home to the international airport. It makes sense to me that the article would say it by name and probably has nothing to do with any possible temple announcement even if the people writing these articles were privvy to that sort of thing, which I doubt they are.

OC Surfer said...

California's membership decline strictly has to do with members moving out to avoid high taxes, and high cost of living. Usually the kids go to BYU or BYU-Idaho, get married and stay in Utah or Idaho after graduation. Finally the parents move up to be near their grandkids. Other options include members moving to Arizona or Texas.

Demographic shifts also make an impact where once white areas, are now predominately Latino and/or Asian.

Having said that, the California Missions do baptize a lot of new members, but it seems the Stake and Ward leadership are slow to respond to demographic shifts and just assume "it is what it is", without better outreach.

I live in California and there's a lot of potential here. We just have to adapt from the old skool "Brady Brunch" mentality and realize the Gospel is for all, with new approaches, and a more inclusive Church culture.

James Anderson said...

An evangelical source I heard recently said this roughly about outreach:

When you go to some country to do outreach you often have to deal with layers of cultural and even religious differences when working with others. And before you even step on that airplane to go to that distant place, the people around you are going unreached. Put them on your radar first.

We are trying to do both, have formal missions to just about everywhere we can reasonably do so given the circumstances, and also having the local ward missions with an EQ counselor or ward mission leader over the effort, with member involvement with and separate from the full time missionaries, and personal outreach, giving out the pass-along cards is one example of that.

But the extent of local efforts varies dramatically from ward to ward, even in the same city or stake. The best example I know of is Luputa, DR Congo which had 700 members and a set of full time missionaries. The full time missionaries were needed elsewhere so for a couple years they did not have full time missionaries.

The members did all the finding and teaching, and after that two or three years or maybe a little more, full time missionaries were reassigned to Luputa. The district had grown to over 2000 members, and six months after the full time missionaries came back, they formed a stake. This is documented in a big article in the Church news over a decade ago.

So just when might things like that happen in the US? That's a tall order, but just maybe.

Unknown said...

Considering plans to renovate the Salt Lake Temple have been in progress for at least 4 years I think it has been well budgeted for.

More to the point I wonder to what extent Nelsonian reforms allow for cost cutting to divert more money to temples.

The 2 hour block in theory allows for more units per building. However in general the emphasis was on earlier church servives. Also in many areas 1 unit buildings are the norm. The Detroit Mission used to have 2 buildings with 3 wards now there are none because of ward consolidations. However I know of at least 3 buildings that used to be used by branches the Church no longer has as those units were elimanated and another branch now shares a building with a ward instead of having its own building.

The process, dating back maybe 5 years of reloxating mission offices into chapels or institute buildings instead of leased office space has probably saved money. Shorter church services may make it less costly to rent space. The new schedule may allow for slightly smaller buildings with fewer rooms, but that is not fully clear.

Another plus is fewer or less demanding callings will allow more time for temple work.

Whether the end of Boy Scout membership will save money is hard to say. It will mean less money spent on young men and boys in US and Canadian units. However there may be higjer youth program costs in other parts of the world and maybe for female youth in the US and Canada so the net cost effect is hard to be sure. Some savings I am guessing but I am not sure it would be anywhere near the Salt Lake Temple rebuild costs.

Unknown said...

Since the early 1990s there may have been more years of Church membership declining in California than growing. During this same period the net migration between the rest of the US and California has been from California to other states. Population has increased from migrarion from outside the US.

One thing is that there is no one Buddhist or Muslim organization. Protestantism has splintered even more with the rise of independent Pentecostal Denominations and splits over sexual mores. Church affiliation has declined in the US.

The so-called nones are not so much people who reject belief in God or even Jesus Christ as peiple who lack formal affiliation with any religuous organization. It is a problem that becomes most pronounced as an issue of social disengagement.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gets its rank for membership in California by going up against other traditions that tend towards independent congregations and splintering. Muslims, Buddhists and Jews in the US also often are part of congregations that are totally independent. Add to this the fact that in all three cases many lack any membership in a religious body at all. Although due to other factors generally only religiously unconnected Jews show up in the count of Jews. This is why although most listed comparisons of Jews and Muslims in the US will still list more Jews a comparison of religious practioners will list more Muslims and find that there are also many more Muslims who want religious community but lack adequare access than Jews who face this problem.

Unknown said...

No Utah temple was ever announced before a stake.Hamilton New Zealand, London England and Burn Switzerland all predate stakes in those countries. DC on the pther hand post dates the DC stake by 34 years and the first stake in the area it covered when built by 40 years. If we recognize the fact that SLC had the Endowment House the only other delay that is comparable is for Colonia Juarez but it was not as far from Mesa as NYC and DC were from SLC.

Unknown said...

Not just announced, but built and completed. The Temple in Switzerland dates to 1956 or earlier, mainland Europe gets its first stake in 1961.

President Nelson like David O. McKay prioritizes building temples over forming stakes.

Unknown said...

That was from divisions of the Salt Lake Stake. The stakes in St. George and Provo and several other places predate that. Stakes as the primary method of multi-congregational organization really only date to 1877. Before that in places like Box Elder County you had Lorenzo Snow acting as de facto stake president without a formally designated stake.

Unknown said...

Still Sao Paulo and Mexico City both might possibly have 2nd temples announced. The Church News staff lacks insider info on temple plans. What the apostles know though is harder to say.

Unknown said...

Some examples of outreach in Farmdale Maine in the 1960s and others have maybe not quite been on the Luputu level but they did have their effect.

I have to say especially in a place like Detroit having the missionary force dominated by Intermountain wesy youth makes it essentially as culturally other as in forighn countries where most missionaries are Americans. Still in some ways this makes them less constricted and paused by fear than if we relied on lical suburban members. The fact that many of them are short term intermountain west ex pats is another issue though.

James Anderson said...

Sunday meeting schedules in a four-ward building only shaved 2 1.2 hours off the time wards were meeting in them.

Before January 1st: Wards started every 2 hours beginning at 830am, last ward ended at 530pm

After January 1st wards started every 90 minutes beginning at 830am, last ward ends at 3pm.

Then there are various stake and ward meetings and some of that before the first ward even starts, then things like smaller meetings, training, and temple recommend interviews, extending callings, etc., and that has not changed that much although I see presidency meetings taking place in a member home.

Some leadership meetings and interviews take place on other nights too.

Heard the Scout registration number for the church was about 600k in the US, they will lose much of that, shaving some 20-25% off the total number currently registered, that being 2.2 million. I don't know what the fee was to register a boy or leader, but that fee x 600k will tell you what was saved, along with whatever was collected during Friends of Scouting.

But CHQ took care of the registration fee, Friends of Scouting was voluntary.
.

Unknown said...

However with no annoying friends of scouting members may donate more to temple construction.

Eduardo said...

The shift in US BSA Scouting should be a great boon to the international youth of Zion. Exciting times.

Eduardo said...

The caption/explanation for the second list says 2017, not 2018. Is that a typo or am I misreading it?

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