Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Country-by-Country Membership Statistics Released for 2019

The Church has released year-end 2019 membership and congregation totals for most nations with a reported Church presence. These statistics can be accessed on Church's official website at https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics.

Countries with the highest annual membership growth rates in 2019 (10% or greater) are listed below. Lists for nations with the most rapid membership growth rates are also available for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. The percentage next to the country name is the annual growth rate percentage, which is followed by the country's membership at year-end 2019. Countries in bold experienced an annual membership increase greater than 200 during 2019. 

  1. Montenegro - 56.5% - 36
  2. Mozambique - 22.5% - 15,032
  3. Angola - 19.0% -3,490
  4. Kazakhstan - 16.8% - 230 
  5. Benin - 16.0% - 4,018
  6. Togo - 12.3% - 5,320 
  7. Cyprus - 12.2% - 507
  8. Lesotho - 10.5% - 1,303
  9. Tuvalu - 10.5% - 296
  10. Luxembourg - 10.3% - 505
  11. Democratic Republic of the Congo - 10.1% - 68,871
Below is a list of the top ten countries by numerical membership increase for the year 2019. Each country is provided with the numerical national increase in membership. Additionally, the percentage of total church membership increase is provided for each country. Lists are also available for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. 70.8% of the 2019 net increase in Church membership can be attributed to the following 10 nations.
  1. United States - 39,203 - 15.6%
  2. Brazil - 35,319 - 14.1%
  3. Mexico - 25,756 - 10.2%
  4. Philippines - 20,045 - 8.0% 
  5. Nigeria - 14,864 - 5.9%
  6. Peru - 14,000 - 5.6%
  7. Argentina - 10,079 - 4.0%
  8. Chile - 6,847 - 2.7%
  9. Democratic Republic of the Congo - 6,308 - 2.5%
  10. Ghana - 5,484 - 2.2%
With the country-by-country breakdown for membership in 2019, it can be determined what countries were primarily responsible for the increase in membership growth in 2019 compared to 2018 (approximately 50,000). However, there was only one country where the Church reported a significantly larger increase in membership in 2019 than 2018, which was Brazil with a whopping 24,502 more members than the 2018 increase. The Church in the United States, which has been the country where the Church adds the most new members every year, was almost eclipsed by membership growth in Brazil. If this had happened, it would have marked the first year in Church history when there were more members added to Church records for a country outside the United States than in the United States. Unfortunately, this does not indicate an acceleration in membership growth trends internationally, but rather slowing membership growth rates in the United States. The annual increase in Church membership for the United States in 2019 was very close to what it was in 2018, and the annual percentage membership growth for the United States in 2019 was the lowest reported by the Church since approximately the mid-1800s. Although the number of members being added to Church records in the United States is nearing historic lows primarily due to decreasing birth rates in the Church, congregational growth rates remain good and indicate likely improving convert retention and member activity rates for the country as a whole.

Examination of the country-by-country membership data revealed no significant changes in membership growth trends in 2019 versus 2018 with a few notable exceptions. First, as already noted above, membership growth in Brazil was significantly higher in 2019 than 2018. The annual membership growth rate for the Church in Brazil for 2019 (2.53%) was the highest reported by the Church in Brazil since 2015. Second, the membership growth rate for the Church in Papua New Guinea in 2019 (9.12%) was the highest reported by the Church since 2011 (10.1%) and the second highest reported by the Church since 2002 (10.5%). The Church in Papua New Guinea now reports 30,825 members. Third, the Church in Mozambique reported an unprecedented year for membership growth, as Church membership increased by 22.5% to reach 15,032 members. This is the highest annual membership growth rate for the Church in Mozambique since 2004 when there were only 3,000 members. Fourth, annual membership growth rates in Cote d'Ivoire significantly slowed in 2019 to only 7.1% - the lowest annual membership growth rate in the country since 2011. In contrast, the Church in Cote d'Ivoire reported approximately 20% annual membership growth rates for several years in the 2010s.

26 comments:

Levi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tymon said...

Thank you for all the effort you put into this. I enjoy your posts. I think the church is still working on 2019 numbers. I noticed Utah, as well as a lot of other areas, have not changed since 2018 numbers.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

Good to see some growth in Kazakhstan, even with the government restrictions on non-traditional religions.

R. Jofre said...

I'm very glad to see Chile on a positive note. Back in the '70s and '80s, people were very enthusiastic about the Church. So much growth and so much potential made people go out of their way to serve. At least in places like Valparaíso attendance was about 100%, according to the leaders from those days. I think some of that excitement might be present with the new temples in the country.

Eduardo said...

Chile was doing pretty well in the early 1990s, too. Maybe the early 2000s showed the biggest downturn?
Matt, didn't Great Britain add more converts than in the United States some years like in the 1840s? Maybe not.
However, I think one year like 1850 there were more total members in UK than the US. I think that was a stat published many years ago.
No offense to any Californians out there.

Ben said...

Although it's good to see Chile in the top 10, it's still less than 60 baptisms per mission per month, which isn't great at all.

I've heard reports that missionary activities have been particularly popular with newly forming immigrant communities and there have been many baptisms in these groups. I wonder if that can explain it?

During earlier years, 2014 on wards, literally thousands of dead members were removed from the membership records through a concerted effort within Chile. Many of the membership increases would have been masked by the mass removal of these dead members.

One thing for certain, there has been some significant unit consolidation during the last 2 years, not on a level with the early 2000s, but still a number of stakes have been dissolved and many wards/branches also. These indicate real growth, hence I don't think there is much to celebrate here unfortunately. Stability and maturity should probably be the main focus for the foreseeable future.

Eduardo said...

60 converts per mission per month is great! Most worldwide missions would take that.
Higher numbers in historical Chilean missions of the past were not sustainable in many cases. If those 60 per month can be properly integrated as active, I am very optimistic about Chile.
Buenas noticias por seguro.

Mario Miguel said...

https://www.thechurchnews.com/callings/2020-04-09/april-2020-general-conference-9-new-general-authority-seventies-180712

BYULAW said...

What would it take for the Canary Islands to get a temple? Seems to me that they are far from one but I don’t know how easy it is for people there to get to Spain or Portugal

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@BYULAW

Are there stakes or districts in the Canary Islands?

Unknown said...

There is currently 1 stake in the Canaries.

Pascal Friedmann said...

I had them on my 100 temples shortlist. Could cover the Canary Islands and Madeira.

Eduardo said...

My wife served in the Malaga/Sevilla Mission, and had a companion from Tenerife, I think, from the Canaries. We have contacted them the last few years and have another mutual friendship through the State Department. I know the Canaries Islands Mission has been one of the toughest in the world. A BYU friend from San Diego, CA, served there, and later when he reported, yeah, hard to teach and baptize.
I think if Guam and Okinawa can have them, hopefully Tenerife.
I am still in favor of a ship being made a temple, and why not an airplane? This is the 21st century.😊

James Anderson said...

I wrote on the New /temples Analysis post just below this post, about how remote areas, some island nations, etc., have Internet but at very poor, crappy data throughput rates, that is about to change, where anyone can have a high speed connection at any point on earth, due to new low-earth-orbit satellite flotillas from first SpaceX Starlink, and in the future other providers like Amazon.

Has major ramifications all around, some will be able to use a smartphone for more than just a cellphone, missionaries serving in remote areas and these island nations will be able to use the resources we have, family history will explode like never before in these areas, and so much more.

Luke said...

The church in the Canary Island is struggling because of low baptisms. they closed that mission and made it part of Madrid a few years after I was there. There are a few strong members but not enough to support a temple. They have a long way to go. As far as combining the Canaries with those other islands like Azores and Madeiras —it’s not really practical. There are no flights or boats that go between all those islands. Everything goes thru Madrid or Portugal mainlands. They are quite a distance apart. The Canaries are a 2-hour flight to Madrid. Plus they all speak different languages.
That being said, my mission president always said one day there would be a temple there. He even picked out the spot. Haha. But he was an eternal optimist. Maybe one will be built there during the Millennium.

Eduardo said...

Back around 1992 I think I saw in the Church News that 3 missionaries in the Canary Islands died at a beach when I guess a rogue wave came up and swept them in.
Did you hear about that as a missionary and did you ever know which beach it happened at?
Missionary deaths are so sad, but I believe that usually their lives impact a lot of people for good. Perhaps there is a marker near that spot and possibly a memorial to them or others. I think that would be nice.
I think I used to know the nationalities of the victims.

Richard said...

I'm pretty sure that the church in the United Kingdom was larger in the 1850s than it was in the United States but I'd have to check.

Unknown said...

I believe that was in 1999. Yes I was there when those missionaries died. The two companionships were fooling around on a beach cliff, they were specifically told not to go yet they did. Anyway, yes; a rogue wave did come in and sucked in one elder, and his companion jumped in to 'save' him. It did not end well as we know. I'm pretty sure they were all American, as most missionaries were in that mission at that time. Its really unfortunate.

John Pack Lambert said...

In 1840 there were twice as many members in Britain than in the US and that was after the first emigration.

John Pack Lambert said...

Based on Okinawa and Maniroba the Canaries could get a temple. Just a question if enough members there are full tithes payers.

Eduardo said...

Interesting that you recall the tragedy in 1999, not '92. I could be pretty far off. An LDS News key word search might help, or maybe just Google.
I am encouraged by Chile growing by 2.7 percent last year, but in comparison a bit disappointed by Congo (former Zaire) and Ghana growing in slower rates.
Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria are the power houses in Sub-Saharan Africa, while now maybe Tanzania and Mozambique are the more hopeful boom spots.
I knew a Utah guy at Indiana University who did Africa studies with a focus on Tanzania... Last name Wood? First name Gary, I think. Wonder what became of him.

James said...

Eduardo, this article details the tragedy in question:

https://www.deseret.com/1999/1/20/19424170/missionary-trip-ends-in-tragedy-br-2-lds-elders-one-a-utahn-drown-after-being-swept-off-canary-islan

You were right: it was easy to find via a Google search.

jonathan3d said...

Matt, do you have a comparison of membership by state each year, or at least 2019 vs. 2018?

James said...

jonathan3d, what you could do is compare the data in this post to the data in the following post from last year:

http://ldschurchgrowth.blogspot.com/2019/04/country-by-country-membership.html

I believe that some of the "Reaching the Nations" and "Statistical Profile" documents for each nation on cumorah.com might have some comparative data for 2019 and 2018. Hope that helps.

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Historia Familiar Valenzuela Escobar said...

Hello!

It is to be hoped that this growth will continue throughout Chile and will strengthen at once.
I have been a member since July 1990, and I have seen how the country grew in baptism, chapels built, missions, they were just numbers not people who will stay to serve.

I was the missionary leader for a long time, we got to have 30 baptisms per month, I attended the Flores neighborhood in the Republic stake, but it was not possible to retain the baptized, the brothers did not help, they did not sister, they did not greet, they looked ugly at the poorest and not only went there but throughout Chile.
See how our country has decreased in spiritual strength, see close chapels, close complete stakes and still, the brothers do not commit to the Lord, it is hard.

Without a doubt living the gospel is not easy, the temple of Santiago is little visited but it always was, it is not something of today.
The temple of Concepción to the south is a blessing for the faithful members who came to Santiago by bus, for a few days, making great sacrifices.
And now in Antofagasta, the announcement is another blessing for a country so long and distant, with few active but faithful members.

I hope that Chile can be strengthened and be a huge pillar in the gospel, recovering those who left the Church is almost impossible, only a miracle could achieve it.

A hug from my beloved Chile

Omar Elías