Saturday, April 3, 2021

Rare Insights into Latter-day Saint Demography Shared by Elder Gong

This morning, Elder Gerrit W. Gong shared some demographic data about Latter-day Saint populations. He emphasized that Latter-day Saint membership has become "increasingly internationalized" during the past 40 years. Some of these data appear to have never been released before. These include:

  • Most adults in the worldwide Church have been single, widowed, or divorced since 1992
  • Most adults in the United States and Canada have been single, widowed, or divorced since 2019
  • Latter-day Saint membership in Latin America is anticipated to surpass Latter-day Saint membership in the United States and Canada by 2025
  • The number of Church members outside the United States and Canada surpassed the number of Latter-day Saints within the United States and Canada in 1998 (previously reported statistic)

19 comments:

Brandon said...

It is some interesting insight regarding demographics in the worldwide Church. One suggestion - A correction for greater accuracy could be made about the first two points. “More than half” would be a more accurate statement than “most”

Downtownchrisbrown said...

I do wonder how accurate the statement around marriage is, as in many of the Wards I've lived in has had a significant number of 'singles' who were not active and had in fact married nonmembers but the records had not been updated.

Lacey said...

And yet in most family wards you see few single adults. Frankly as a church we do a miserable job making church meaningful for single adults. From activities all the way up to "Exaltation is a family matter." We're reaping what we've sowed by way of single adult activity and retention.

Monson Brad said...

Members over the age of 32 who have not married, or are divorced, have been treated the same as lepers in the bible. Until a few years ago, a man over the age of 32 could not be a temple worker if he was single, even if he was worthy. The Church had not realized that members who have not married at age 32 are the ones who have better education, better jobs, more freedom to serve, and are more consciously involved in projects. It is good that they finally see us and become aware that marital status does not diminish the capacity to serve and that being single does not mean unworthy or homosexual.

Monson Brad said...

Members over the age of 32 who have not married, or are divorced, have been treated the same as lepers in the bible. Until a few years ago, a man over the age of 32 could not be a temple worker if he was single, even if he was worthy. The Church had not realized that members who have not married at age 32 are the ones who have better education, better jobs, more freedom to serve, and are more consciously involved in projects. It is good that they finally see us and become aware that marital status does not diminish the capacity to serve and that being single does not mean unworthy or homosexual.

Unknown said...

President Ballard also referred to these same statistics in his talk on Saturday Afternoon.

John said...

"Single" includes those who, like my mother-in-law, are widowed and don't consider themselves single. And "family ward" is a misnomer - it implies that singles are not welcome. THe proper term, per the Handbook, is conventional ward. I was membership clerk in three different conventional wards when I was single. In between I was in a single student ward masquerading as a YSA ward and it was not a good fit - I left after six months.

Eduardo said...

Does this stat include adult members who are married, like my dad, but the spouse is not a member of the Church? I was a single adult till the year 2000; did that count me as such from 1992 to 200?

John Pack Lambert said...

This is a true attack on the many faithful and highly educated married members of the church and is in no way justified. People need to stop speaking in such unjustified absolutes.

John Pack Lambert said...

The presumption is the statistic does not include any married members. The bigger question is if includes the sister in my branch who is in a "common law" marriage to her children's father. I am not sure how she got baptized in that situation.

John Pack Lambert said...

Much of the rhetoric about church units and marital situations involves needlessly antagonistic rhetoric.

The basic fact is single people feel lonely because it is longer eed ly to be single. Man was not meant to bgg e alone.

If people feel isolated and left out it oil often has as much to do with them not reaching out to others and not putting forth the efforts to build friendship th and n anything else.

I have been for 18 of my 22 years as an adult member of the Church unmarried.

There are ways to improve situations but to claim anything is a result of Church leaders not caring about or trying to reach out to single members is just plain false.

God intends us to be saved collectively as families. It is time that people stopped expressing anger and antagonism towards the true teachings of apostles and prophets.

My biggest worry is that in emphasizing institute for all singles through age 30 we are undermining its availability to grad students, especially married grad students in their 30s.

I think we also occasionally have leaders who under appreciate that single parents really benefit from a believing spouse.

However most of the inactivity I have seen is in no way a result of lack of outreach.

Also some people seem to want to feel an isolation from married members. They want to only go to events and activities with singles, and fight against broader activities of any kind, even though if our goal is being a Zion people we should welcome all such interactive activities.

John Pack Lambert said...

In my branch almost all the white adults are married and the vast majority of the black adults are single. The latter includes at least one black sister who joined the church as a teenager and has multiple children but has never married. It includes widows, divorced and never married. Our first branch president who is well into his sixties has never married.

The branch has lines of class, marital status and race that all tend towards being drawn the same ways.

John Pack Lambert said...

No a bigger question is do we count as married or not single women whose husband is incarcerated for natural life ccx without parole. The answer to that question will reveal if my wife's only member sister-in-law through her family counts as single or not. And it has applied since the day she married. My wife's brother was put away for natural life without possibility of parole several years before he got married. The world is more complex than some here seem to ever try to imagine.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@Lacey

It looks like that trend is going to change. The Apostles' positive comments about single adults in this conference was a huge step in the right direction.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@John Pack Lambert

Not to pry, but is everything alright? While I enjoy seeing you comment and hearing your point of view, your comments as of late seem to be a bit more emotionally charged or antagonistic than they have in the past.

I realize a public blog is not always an ideal place for these kind of discussions, but I wanted to let you know that we are listening to your point of view (even though we sometimes have differing opinions on gospel matters).

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@JPL

To clarify my last reply: I only ask because lately, it seems like some other commenters here have posted some fairly innocuous opinions about one topic or another, and it seems to me like you've read into them to ascribe meanings to their comments which (again, from my point of view) they didn't intend. Or you've responded with an extreme opposite stance to a position the other person might not have actually been taking.

Of course, you're a grown man and can make your own decisions, but as another member of the Church (and regular commenter on this blog who regularly reads your comments, as well), I've been a bit concerned for you lately - wanted to make sure you were doing alright. :)

John Pack Lambert said...

Is everything alright? I am not the person who turned this thread into a full scale hate thread against the core teachings of The Church of Jesus ChRust of Latter-day Saints.

Eduardo said...

Some people have slung some antagonism toward Church policies and trends but overall I think we have pro Church of Jesus Christ commenters, those interested in the growth of the Kingdom of God and its members.
Some comments are valid but it is unfortunate that some contain malice and vitriol.
I think John PL is all right but I empathize with his frustrations and many of his views and takes.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@JPL

Fair enough.