Friday, April 23, 2021

Year-End 2020 Membership and Congregation Data by Country Remains Unavailable

The Church has yet to update its Facts and Statistics page on its Newsroom website - the only location where the Church publishes year-end membership and congregation data by country and province/state (for the United States and Canada). This marks the longest the Church has ever taken to update this page after the annual General Conference (the last time it took this long to update the page was in 2013 when it was not updated until April 22nd). Typically, these data are available within 1-2 weeks after the annual General Conference. I have contacted the Newsroom staff about the issue, and the statistics have yet to be updated with year-end 2020 figures. The Church continues to not report membership and congregational data for more than a dozen non-sensitive countries -- most of which have had a recent official Church establishment (e.g., Gabon, Guinea, Mali, Senegal) or a de-sensitization of its previous status during the past few years (e.g., Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Kosovo, Lebanon, Morocco, North Macedonia, Vietnam). Other countries have had a long-term, nonsensitive presence and remain missing from the statistics pages on the Newsroom site (e.g., Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Bonaire, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, constituent countries in the United Kingdom).

39 comments:

LDSTempleQueenIvy2005 said...

Thanks!

Ohhappydane33 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Hey, Matt. While it is odd that the Church has not updated the statistical data for each nation yet, even more odd is the fact that the new General Authorities and Primary General Presidency sustained earlier this month have not been added to the official list of General Authority Seventies and General Officers of the Church, although they had been featured in the new chart released by the Church.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/leaders?lang=eng

One possible explanation has been provided. Roughly 2 weeks ago, on the Church's official Facebook page for the Liahona magazine, a question was asked about when the PDF version of the Liahnoa for April 2021 might be available online. The staff who runs the Liahona facebook page for the Church responded that they did not have an exact date, but that it would hopefully be up for public viewing relatively soon:

https://www.facebook.com/liahona/

In doing follow-up research on that exchange, including what had propted the delay, I came across a thread in the LDS Tech support chat threads. Although I can't seem to find the comment in question at the moment, a suggestion had been made that the Church was having some server issues at headquarters that was causing delays in making some updates, including those to the aforementiond list of General Authorities and General Officers, and that that is the likely reason as well that there was a delay until recently in making the PDF version of the April magazines available for online viewing.

I'm no expert when it comes to server issues, but I know there have been times in the past where issues with the Church's web servers have caused previous delays in the ability to make such updates. So I think it's highly probable that server issues are to blame for the fact that the Church's Newsroom releases and list of general leaders has been updated, but that the main list on the Church's page of leader biographies elsewhere has not been updated. SInce those issues were also likely the cause for the 2-week delay in getting the PDF version of the April Church mggazines up and running, could that be the reason the Church has also not yet provided the updates on the statistical numbers following the release of the annulal report 3 weeks ago? I wouldn't be shocked personally if that's exactly what's going on. Hopefully whatever the issue might be, it can be resolved soon, and then all of these updates might be able to be successfully made.

Eduardo said...

How do China, Pakistan. and Bangladesh stack up?

Matt said...

Thanks James for your comment. Yes, I figured it must be something like you said. I was optimistic that maybe the update with the year-end 2020 numbers may include many of the missing countries, but I am not holding my breath.

Eduardo - China, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are sensitive countries where the Church does not publish membership information or the number of congregations in each country.

Christopher Duerig said...

@Ohhappydane33, correction :

The "Canoga Park California Stake - 503711", organized October 8th, 1961 as the Canoga Park Stake, was recently RENAMED the "Chatsworth California Stake - 503711", with the Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Northridge, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Northridge YSA Wards and San Fernando 4th Branch (Korean).

Jim Anderson said...

Confirmed another way on what James said about some server issues causing delay with things.

The May Liahona, usually up by this point in April, is not live yet on the Church website, although the bulk of that content is already elsewhere in the General Conference section, so the internal intranet issues happened shortly after they put that up.

They are redoing General Conference music also, now looks like the rest of Gospel Library, but some features like downloads did not port over from the old page right, so that is another tech issue as well they are working on. Additionally I found two new domains that are supposed to point to the Latter-day Saints Channel page, but to not, and let them know they didn't. They were erroneously pointing to an old version of the channel's blog.

It just comes with the territory with large websites that there are going to be problems, FamilySearch regularly registers issues, and fixes them sometimes very fast, and the main Church website is the largest church-owned website in the world, bigger than that of some other major centralized religions that have more adherents. and few sites maybe do the number of languages the Church does (in the 1990s there was the project to gather electronic and print versions of all known alphabets and symbols, they came up with more than 5,000 when that work was completed, and still may be discovering a few now and then).

Christopher Duerig said...
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Matt said...

Actually, Canoga Park Stake has been renamed the Chatsworth Stake.

wonderingstar said...

It appears we did not get a statical update for the end of 2019 and are not likely to see one IMO for 2020. The question then is will the church publish year end results on a regular basis again. Truth is its not needful and requires significant time energy and $. Let's hope they see the value and continue it.

James said...

wonderingstar, not sure what you mean. The Church doesn't read the statistical report over the pulpit during General Conference anymore. But the 2019 report was shared by the Newsroom during the Saturday Afternoon Session of the April 2020 General Conference, and also in the May 2020 Ensign, towards the end of that magazine:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2020/05/statistical-report-2019?lang=eng

Similarly, this year, the Statistical Report for 2020 was shared by the Newsroom during the Saturday Afternoon Session:

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/april-2021-general-conference-statistical-report

That will also appear towards the back of the May 2021 Liahona. There is always a slight lag in the Church updating the individual nation, state, province, territory or geographical Church area, and, as Matt and I noted earlier in this thread, it appears that server errors may be causing any lag in updating that data this year. If that's not what you are referring to, please clarify what you mean. Thanks.

Zach said...

What is meant by "sensitive" and "desensitized?" Does this refer to an official church policy of not releasing stats for specific countries? Or is it more of a general statement about the church not publishing the information due to more or less obvious political circumstances in those places?

Zach said...

What is meant by "sensitive" and "desensitization?" Does this refer to an official Church policy of not publishing stats for certain countries? Or is it more of a general policy related to more or less obvious political circumtances in those places? Is there a list somewhere of countries marked "sensitive"?

David Todd said...

I mean, even if the general public doesn't need to know the data, Church headquarters certainly does. It isn't that much more time to publish it if you already have it collected and compiled.

Matt said...

This was part of the recent changes renaming Canoga Park Stake as the Chatsworth Stake.

wonderingstar said...

James et al, my comment was obviously too brief. By way of clarification; No doubt the brethren have access to the detailed statistics (totals by geopolitical jurisdictions). I suspect even the 2019 and 2020 data is known to them. The question in my mind is this...can we expect them to continue to release this info on an annual basis this year and in the future? At some point I suspect they will discontinue this. For the following reasons:
Although the information undoubtedly will be available to those with the need to know, there is some incremental cost associated with making it available generally.
The statistical information is somewhat misleading. Many members of the church are lost and unknown. No one knows where these members are or even if they are still alive.
The information is placed in the "newsroom" section of the website, presumably for the use of the media. Very few organizations, especially churches list this kind of information and for good reason, they probably don't know it or don't wish to disclose it. Frankly I doubt if the media has much need for current information for any particular region, state or country.
Lastly, This is not info that will benefit us spiritually.
Having said all that, I take personally take delight in following the growth of the church and the detailed statistical info is of particular interest. I sincerely hope the brethren continue to authorize its disclosure.
Your thoughts...

Ray said...

to wonderingstar and others: Your claim that 2019 information is not available for US states is not correct. Although this blog doesn't show 2019 membership for California (as an example), the Church's website in "facts and statistics" shows this information for 2019. Matt's site shows 2018 year-end total as 761,054, and lds.org shows 756,507, since 2020 figures are not yet available.

Christopher Duerig said...

Confirmed today on Classic Maps, that Matt had already announced on his list for the new "Kharkov Ukraine Stake - 616907", was just organized from the "Kharkov Ukraine District - 616907". The 2nd in the country, after Kyiv Ukraine Stake.

https://classic.churchofjesuschrist.org/maps/#ll=49.385147,35.4577&z=7&m=google.hybrid&layers=stakecenter&616907&find=stake:616907

Christopher Duerig said...

Sorry, the new stake, was renamed "Kharkiv Ukraine Stake - 616907", using the Ukrainian language spelling of the City name, in place of the Russian language spelling "Kharkov Ukraine Stake - 616907"

Brett Stirling said...

What do people think is the the best guess on the average number of active members vs people who still identify as members vs stated membership numbers?

DJarvis87 said...

30%-20%-59%

Christopher Duerig said...
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Jim Anderson said...

Just announced and this is a second story on a side site that KSL owns, announces a new temple, will be near Snow College, and be about the size of Brigham City, have four 30-seat endowment rooms, one baptistry.

https://ksltv.com/461152/church-announces-new-temple-in-ephraim/

Kenny said...

Huge announcement this morning. In a video recording, Pres Nielson announced to local members, a new temple is to be built in Ephraim Utah and the Manti temple will maintain it's pioneer heritage.

John Pack Lambert said...

I am guessing well over 80% of those on the records identify as members. I have known too many people who initiated name removal and too many people who had not been present at Church for decades who still self identified to think anything else.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Ephraim Utah Temple seems primarily the means of fixing the accessibility issues with the Manti Utah Temple while leaving in place the historical features of the Manti Temple.

On the other hand keep in mind that all 8 of President Nelson's great grandparents emigrated from Utah to Ephraim.

On the whole though I now expect the Logan revisions will try to restore the historic pre-1970s character of the building. That may be difficult and to do it fully might undermine accessibility. So there are tough issues there are no way for everyone to win. I have no sense of how far Utah State campus is from the temple. If it is very far I wonder if there is a possibility of a second Logan Temple even after Smithfield.

Rphraim also in no way makes me rule out Price getting a temple at some point. In fact if giving college students more temple access was at all a factor for the Ephraim Temple, I can see Price, Utah; Madison, Wisconsin; Lamsing, Michigan and Des Moines/Ames Iowa as big contenders.

Also with Helena Temple under 11,000 square feet I think Missoula Temple is still a continentder for being announced in 2020.

How many temples has President Nrlson announced in Utah?

John Pack Lambert said...

If I did the math right 19 states have at least 2 temple operational or announced while only 18 states only have 1. 11 states have no temple.

East of the Mississippi 5 states have multiple temples operational or announced. When I was born there was only 1 temple east of the Mississippi. I was 14 when the 4th temple east of the Mississippi was dedicated. I think the 5th temple east of the Mississippi in the US was the Columbus Ohio Temple, although it is hard to place for sure because so many temples were dedicated in 1999. Hartford was the 5th announced, replaced by White Plains/Harrison and Boston. Nashville may have been announced before Hartford was abandoned. Those were the dark days between the Employment Division v. Smith decision in 1990 and the passage of RLUIPA in 1999 when it was very easier to start a pornographic book store than to build a religious building in the US. The first city they tried to build the Nashville Temple in only designated as religious building zoning properties currently being used as religious buildings. The proposed temple site had previously had a religious building but was not so designated in the community plan. It would have been at an intersection where there were currently two churches at least one of which was as big or bigger than the proposed size of the temple. It was still rejected by city agencies and the ruling was upheld by the courts in the pre-RLUIPA days when city councils, zoning boards and prisons were allowed to ban virtually all religious activity as long as you could not prove actual animus. Having members of the audience at a city council meeting say "we want to keep you Latter-day Saints out of our city" would not even have been enough evidence of animus. You would have had to find clear unequivocal expressions of animus by a council member of board member themself to show it.

Jim Anderson said...

Nashville had that tornado a couple days after the City Council made that decision. Wasn't the worst but it did do some damage. They had another last year that followed a similar track, one of the on-air people may have been there for both twisters, and last year was also the second time the station got at least sideswiped, the first may have also been that earlier one.

Orrin Hatch also got through the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that also helped with Boston. Since then churches of many faiths have benefited from both laws. Eventually the courts upheld the laws so both are now what the legal profession calls 'settled law'.

twinnumerouno said...

JPL, I just reviewed the geographical breakdown on the main maps page at churchofjesuschristtemples.org. What I am seeing is 19 states with 1 temple, and another 19 with 2 or more, leaving 12 that have none.

Columbus was indeed the 5th temple dedicated east of the Mississippi (not counting Kirtland and the original Nauvoo temple). It was dedicated in September 1999, preceding both Columbia SC and your Detroit temple by about a month, and Raleigh NC by 2 months.

Interesting info about the Nashville temple. I knew there had been issues but not the details.

There are now 10 temples announced or under construction in Utah- 9 of them have been announced by President Nelson. Saratoga Springs was one of the temples in President Monson's last announcement of new temples in 2017.

L. Chris Jones said...

USU Campus is about two miles from the Logan Utah Temple. Some student housing may be another mile further, give or take.

L. Chris Jones said...

US states without temples: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. I think at least three of these have have cities with temples just across thier border.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

Every time Logan closes temporarily for cleaning, the Brigham City temple gets slammed by attendees. Smithfield will help with that in the future, as would a third Cache County Temple or a second in Weber County. I suppose the Syracuse and Layton temples could help share the load if they're finished during Logan's renovation.

twinnumerouno said...

L. Chris Jones- you forgot West Virginia.

Certainly New Jersey, Iowa, Kansas and Mississippi have temples right across the border from them. Probably New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Delaware are in that category too, or close to it.

Perhaps Maine, South Dakota and West Virginia are the farthest from the nearest temple(s).

Richard said...

Anyone have any update on whether or not we will see country data?

Jim Anderson said...

I think Maine will get something, either Bangor or the other larger place, spacing from Boston will be key so as to be convenient to more of the state and the other factor will be number of members.

Iowa: Heard the Iowa stake presidents in the coordinating council are working on getting things to a point where one could be announced there.

Heard that in the Columbia SC temple district, there are people 3-5 hours driving distance from that temple, I am thinking in some cases it is from areas that have few people overall, much less members, where one may not be doable just yet, some stakes in Florida that have gone there rather than Atlanta may move to Tallahassee when that is completed.

SD, a small one like Helena may be possible, don't know if they have a site, very hilly immediately around it to the south and west so some good chances for a highly visible spot. The meetinghouse is next to the guard base, and the old mission office was straight across that by the main road.

Wisconsin, what are some figures on members we may have such as where are the stakes? Possible if a little further from Chicago.

Delaware is all very close to Philadelphia, which from other situations I learned of, is much more convenient for members in the entire DelMarVa area than DC is.

KS, Topeka, Wichita Falls, member numbers, usage of other temples will be the factor there.

Almost all of NJ is within 2 hours or so from either NYC or Philadelpha, takes two hours on the Turnpike between both, not so sure about NW New Jersey which may be some distance and not as tood a freeway network.

NH, Smaller state, MA might still be within good driving time there, Vermont and RI the same.

Not sure on MS, does not take long to cross it on an Interstate, Gulfport-Biloxi seems to be a large area but is close to Louisiana and you can get to Baton Rouge fairly easily, hurricanes in the past have done great damage (one destroyed the entire first floors of the shoreline casinos) in that area so what further north inland could work?

Novice Oregonian said...

Hello. I hope this comes soon. I'm one off on my list of stakes. There were 3437at year end 2019 per the statistical report. 30 were added in 2020 per your website and 3 were discontinued. That should leave 3464. But the recent statistical report said 3463 at year end 2020. So I'm one off somehow.

Thanks.

Ray said...

Novice Oregonian: I'll work on that for you. It'll take a couple of days but I should be able to find the discrepancy.

Ray said...

Novice Oregonian, I thought I could find the missing stake to make 3464, but I don't see it either. Sorry.

Christopher Duerig said...

@Novice Oregonian + @Ray,

I hope this chart can help clear the confusion in Year End Statistical Report 2019 + 2020, in number of Stakes as of December 31st both years.

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/2019-statistical-report

2019 Stakes 3,437

Broken down total by 22 Church Areas, as of 12/31/2019 :

AFRICA CENTRAL 30
AFRICA SOUTH 33
AFRICA WEST 113
ASIA 35
ASIA NORTH 44
BRAZIL 277
CARIBBEAN 33
CENTRAL AMERICA 133
EUROPE 129
EUROPE EAST 4
MEXICO 222
MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA NORTH 2
NORTH AMERICA CENTRAL 278
NORTH AMERICA NORTHEAST 133
NORTH AMERICA SOUTHEAST 117
NORTH AMERICA SOUTHWEST 271
NORTH AMERICA WEST 282
PACIFIC 141
PHILIPPINES 115
SOUTH AMERICA NORTHWEST 251
SOUTH AMERICA SOUTH 181
UTAH 613
Totals 3437

Then during 2020, plus 30 new STakes :

2155818 West Jordan Utah Maples 2020-02-02
2158892 Pleasant View Utah Orchard Springs 2020-02-09
2157136 Saratoga Springs Utah Springside 2020-02-09
2157128 Herriman Utah Blackridge 2020-02-23
2155575 Abidjan Côte d'Ivoire Selmer 2020-03-01
2155974 Winder Georgia 2020-03-01
2151316 Nampa Idaho YSA 2020-03-08
2155966 Newnan Georgia 2020-08-16
2162555 Orlando Florida West 2020-08-23
2161656 Worcester Massachusetts 2020-08-30
2163349 Sheridan Wyoming 2020-08-30
2155591 Queen Creek Arizona Heritage 2020-09-13
2052776 Kumasi Ghana Suame 2015-06-21 (D), 2020-09-13 (S)
2161486 San Antonio Texas Pecan Valley 2020-09-13
2154331 Edmonton Alberta YSA 2020-10-11
2163195 Layton Utah Shoreline 2020-10-11
2152495 Rigby Idaho Holbrooke 2020-10-11
2052164 Pointe-Noire Republic of the Congo 2015-07-19 (D), 2020-10-18 (S)
2163616 Farmington Utah Farmington Bay 2020-10-25
2169371 Lehi Utah Jordan River YSA 2020-10-25
2157578 Navegantes Brazil 2020-11-01
2156342 Diata Republic of the Congo 2020-11-08
433314 Camiling Philippines 1991-07-14 (S), 2003-08-03 (D), 2020-11-08 (S)
2160528 St George Utah Crimson Ridge West 2020-11-15
2158752 Koumassi Cote d'Ivoire 2020-11-15
613088 Santa Cruz Zambales Philippines 1990-12-17 (D), 2020-11-18 (S)
2161036 Nampa Idaho Ridgevue 2020-11-22
2163942 Ekete Nigeria 2020-11-29
2162717 Casper Wyoming East 2020-12-06
2164779 Palmas Brazil North 2020-12-06

Minus 3 Discontinued/Merged/Consolidated :

501387 GRANADA HILLS CALIFORNIA 1936-04-19 2020-03-01
521159 KIRKLAND WASHINGTON 1992-04-19 2020-11-**
502340 PLACENTIA CALIFORNIA 1954-06-27 2020-12-**

Net increase 2020 (30-3) = 27

Totals 2020 3437+27 = 3464

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/april-2021-general-conference-statistical-report

I also have 1 more than the 2020 Report shown. I wonder if that is the subsequently consolidated Stake in early 2021 :

POCATELLO IDAHO YSA 2ND Stake 1998-05-03 2021-03-14

I will review my list again.