Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Australia 2021 Census Data Released - Number of Self-Reported Latter-day Saints

Today, the Australian government released a breakdown of the religious affiliation of the Australian population per the 2021 census data. A total of 57,868 people self-identified as Latter-day Saints on the 2021 census constituting approximately 0.23% of the Australian population. The Church reported a total of 155,383 members in Australia as of year-end 2021. Thus, only 37.2% of Church-reported membership self-affiliated on the 2021 census. In contrast, the 2016 Australian Census reported 60,864 Latter-day Saints, or 41% of Church-reported membership at the time. There have generally been steady increases in the number of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints on the census in Australia during the past 35 years (35,500 in 1986, 45,200 in 1996, 53,100 in 2006). However, annual Church-reported membership growth rates have decreased considerably since the mid-1980s from 3-5% for most years in the 1980s to 2-3% in the 2000s and 1-2% for most years since 2015. The decrease of approximately 3,000 self-reported Latter-day Saints in Australia is probably best explained by slowing membership growth rates during the past five years compounded by member attrition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, youth who do not remain active into adulthood, children of record who are not baptized prior to age 9, adults who leave the faith, deaths of active members, and probable decreasing numbers of children of record increase.

The 2021 census numbers also provide interesting insights into the ethnicity of Australian Latter-day Saints. These data indicate Australian natives constitute 72.4% of Christians in Australia, whereas Australian natives constitute only 58.3% of Latter-day Saints in Australia. The most striking demographic finding is that only 2.73% of Australian Christians are from Oceania (outside of Australia), whereas 29.4% of Australian Latter-day Saints are from Oceania (outside of Australia). This supports data I have collected from hundreds of returned missionaries and local members in Australia that indicate Polynesians constitute a disproportionate percentage of Latter-day Saints in many Australian congregations. Furthermore, local members have reported that language-specific congregations for specific Polynesia peoples (i.e., Tongan and Samoan) often have significantly higher member activity rates compared to general English-speaking congregations in Australia. There has also been an increase in the number of language-specific units in Australia during the past five years for Samoan and Tongan speakers. Since year-end 2016, four new Samoan-speaking and two new Tongan-speaking congregations have been organized, whereas there have been one Samoan-speaking and one Tongan-speaking congregation discontinued. In contrast, there have been a total of 15 new English-speaking congregations in Australia created and 20 English-speaking congregations closed during the same time period.

The 2021 Australian Census data can be downloaded here.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Percent Latter-day Saints by Country in 2021 - Middle East and North Africa

See below for the percentage of Latter-day Saints by country in the Middle East and North Africa as of year-end 2021. You can click on the table to make it larger. Countries with an asterisk have estimated membership totals. 


 

Percent Latter-day Saints by Country in 2021 - Europe

See below for the percentage of Latter-day Saints by country in Europe as of year-end 2021. You can click on the table to make it larger. Countries with an asterisk have estimated membership totals. A local member in Svalbard reported there were eight members (six active) in this Norwegian archipelago as of May 2019.



Percent Latter-day Saints by Country in 2021 - Caribbean

See below for the percentage of Latter-day Saints by country in the Caribbean as of year-end 2021. You can click on the table to make it larger. Countries with an asterisk have estimated membership totals. 



Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Percent Latter-day Saints by Country in 2021 - North America

See below for the percentage of Latter-day Saints by country in North America as of year-end 2021. You can click on the table to make it larger. Countries with an asterisk have estimated membership totals. 


Monday, June 20, 2022

Percent Latter-day Saints by Country in 2021 - Oceania

See below for the percentage of Latter-day Saints by country/territory in Oceania as of year-end 2021. You can click on the table to make it larger. Church membership is estimated in the locations with an asterisk. Membership for Samoa is as of year-end 2019 because this country's statistical information has not been updated on the Church's Newsroom website.



Sunday, June 19, 2022

Percent Latter-day Saints by Country in 2021 - South America

See below for the percentage of Latter-day Saints by country in South America as of year-end 2021. You can click on the table to make it larger. Membership is estimated for the Falkland Islands as the Church has not published membership data for the Falkland Islands since 2013.


 

Monday, June 13, 2022

Percent Latter-day Saints by Country in 2021 - Sub-Saharan

See below for a table that provides the percentage of Latter-day Saints by country in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is important to note that the percentage of Latter-day Saints in the population significantly decreased for some countries during the past couple years, even in some countries where the Church reports rapid membership growth. This is not primarily because of changes in membership growth rates during this time. Instead, it is due to new estimates for population totals that significantly increased compared to the prior estimates. Countries with an asterisk have estimated membership totals. These estimates were made based upon reports from local members, returned missionaries, mission presidents, news media, and other sources of information. The larger the number for the estimate, the more likely it is to be accurate.



Saturday, June 11, 2022

Percent Latter-day Saints by Country in 2021 - Asia

I will be posting tables that display the percentage of Latter-day Saints by country with year-end 2021 membership data during the coming week. See below for the table for Asia. You can click on the table to make it larger. Membership is estimated for countries with an asterisk.


Saturday, June 4, 2022

May 2022 Newsletter

 Click here to access the May 2022 Newsletter for cumorah.com.