Friday, April 10, 2020

Congregational Growth by Country: 2019

Below is a list of the countries where the Church reported a net increase of four or more units for the year 2019. The annual percentage increase for the number of wards and branches for each country is also provided:

  1. United States +185 (1.30% increase)
  2. Nigeria +73 (11.25% increase)
  3. Brazil +31 (1.47% increase)
  4. Peru +21 (2.77% increase) 
  5. Cote d'Ivoire +19 (8.23% increase) 
  6. Democratic Republic of the Congo +15 (7.65% increase)
  7. Ghana +14 (4.46% increase)
  8. Bolivia +13 (5.06% increase)
  9. Philippines +12 (0.98% increase) 
  10. Mozambique +10 (29.41% increase) 
  11. Sierra Leone +10 (14.49% increase) 
  12. Ecuador +8 (2.62% increase) 
  13. Zimbabwe +7 (8.75% increase) 
  14. Kenya +6 (12.50% increase) 
  15. Australia +5 (1.65% increase) 
  16. Canada +5 (1.02% increase) 
  17. Kiribati +5 (15.63% increase)
  18. Liberia +5 (10.42% increase)
  19. Samoa +4 (2.53% increase) 
The net increase in the number of wards and branches in these 19 countries totals 448; a larger number than the net increase in the number of wards and branches for the entire Church for the year 2019 (404). Five countries experienced a net decrease of four or more units during 2019. Altogether, the net decrease in congregations in these 12 nations totaled 58. 
  1. Chile -22 (3.73% decrease) 
  2. Argentina -17 (2.26% decrease)
  3. Taiwan -9 (7.69% decrease) 
  4. Uruguay -5 (3.60% decrease) 
  5. El Salvador -5 (3.07% decrease)
Previous lists for annual congregational growth by country are available for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.


  1. Sad to see the regression in four Latin countries and Taiwan.
    Analyzing or predicting about the corona effect: many less active members and some non-members will be touched to become more active, but congregating and groups will be changed for a while now, hard to say for how long. Maybe forever.
    I am not sure about our regular chapels and verifying and checking for those immune and infected, but I could see the temples vetting patrons as far as their COVID-19 status, especially knowing that many temple workers are advanced in age.
    Our membership should be blessed by less smoking and lack of alcohol consumption, but perhaps obesity and even diabetes is higher because of compensation for not consuming the former?
    I just heard on the radio that Utah and New Mexico are good at testing for this virus. Good for them!
    One last thought: Perhaps a place like Farmington, NM, closer to the
    Four Corners, NM, would be a great place for a temple for a good number of remote Saints?

  2. Anecdotally, in a Facebook group of over 500,000 members that was created less than a week ago for the fast yesterday, I have seen post after post from members saying they've been inactive for years but still wanted to participate and/or come back to the Church. Also several ex-members and people of other faiths altogether. Even a few atheists. I've never seen anything like it before.

    I doubt meetings will be changed forever. The virus will either be controlled by medicine, or reach a threshold where it can't continue to spread through the population because a majority of people still living have already gotten it and developed an immunity.

    1. @Christopher Nicholson

      My sister was commenting about the same things with that fast group. Pretty miraculous.

    2. I also saw many of these and found it very inspiring.

  3. Three more things have been found to make people vulnerable to the virus, the use of cigarettes, alcohol, and recreational drugs (marijuana, LSD, cocaine, etc.).

    Mouse and rat populations in larger, denser locations may also play a role in the spread, although that is still unproven although it was the jump from some animal, some say it was a snake or fruit bat someone ingested, that started it.

    This will also probably be over in late Summer and they hope to have a vaccine for it by a little past that as clinical trials are already underway.

    'There are no atheists in foxholes', so we are all, along with everyone else, relegated to virtual 'foxholes', much good will come from this in terms of church growth and activity, and when the temples reopen even more activity there.

    New Internet delivery tech will aid both family history and missionary work in remote areas within the next couple of years as well.

  4. Out of curiosity, what was the change in units in Mexico? For a while there were a lot of closures, has that turned around, or slowed to a trickle?

  5. In the last 30 days I have seen many groups go "dark" as the Covid-19 shut down their program, (primarily youth sports/activity clubs). One exception is scouting that starting holding weekly zoom meetings and they are quickly atracting new recruits from all the families sitting at home board.

    I have seen a few YSA wards step their game. My son attends 3 church zoom meetings each week. (Sunday School, Institute and Missionary) but most wards are dark.

    If Covid-19 sticks around for awhile, what will the rest of the church do? Will it shrink, stay same or grow?

    1. The local MSA ward Zooms out their Wednesday night religion class.

  6. My nephew has had no high school structure but still has seminary. My branch and it seems many wards did an Easter devotional today.

    Having virtual General Conference last weekend was also a huge burst.

  7. I think many people who were not active are very humbled and feel the need to return. Maybe our Church activity alone increases by over a million? Two?
    I wonder how this will affect youth to serve missions. Perhaps more?

  8. Hello!!

    As a Chilean, I can speak from my experience in the Church since July 1990, it is not so many years, however, there is little or nothing that has changed the attendance, dedication and faith of the baptized.
    Whenever I comment on the blog, I do so with respect and objectivity.
    It is true that there is an improvement in the Church in Chile, but it is not the best, the inactivity rate is very high, nobody speaks or prefers to speak of the more than 100 chapels closed or for sale, or the stakes and neighborhoods that disappeared.
    I worked hard as a missionary and as a dedicated baptized, so that the Church would grow and be strengthened, which has not happened, it is a weak Church, where there is gossip, pride and bad desires, people still hear complaining that the there is a spiritual cooling in the baptized, the positive thing is that despite all the setback in Chile, with the few assets in the whole country, the church is maintained or half maintained, it is sad I cannot deny it, but to see that the faith continues and that with the temple of conception the brothers of that area were very blessed, I am very happy, they waited for decades and now in the north a temple that although it is not yet built, is a hope for the baptized.
    The temple of Santiago, has never had much attendance, we all know that it is so, we attended sessions that could not be held, for years it has been struggling to increase attendance, there are times that it is achieved.
    I hope the day will come when this happens and the baptized value their temples and attend them, working for their ancestors.

    A hug from my dear Chile

    Wishing that Chile became the beacon it deserves in the gospel.

    Omar ElĂ­as