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rockpond

Statistical Report for 2018

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http://ldschurchgrowth.blogspot.com/2019/04/2018-statistical-report.html?m=1

For interesting analysis and context. Slowest growth rate since 1937. Huge spike in the number of records removed (deaths, members of record not baptized turning 18, and excommunications/name removal requests). 

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2 hours ago, rockpond said:

.........................................................

New children of record also continues its downward trend in both raw numbers and as a percentage of overall membership.

However, the number of new converts was up by just over 600 new converts for 2018.  As a percentage of membership, converts have been flat over the past few years which is why the decrease in new children of record tends to drive the declining growth rate in the church.

The declining birthrate in the West is significant, even affecting LDS members.  People in general are marrying later, and putting off having children until couples can get good jobs and make a dent in student debt.  The Church could help by subsidizing or subventing higher education for members, establishing daycare systems, or the like.  Otherwise the decline will continue unabated.

2 hours ago, rockpond said:

Number of full time missionaries continues to its post-surge decline (as we've all seen) but church service missionaries have been on the rise for as long as they have been reporting that number (since 2010 by my records).  We're almost at 38,000.

I have heard a rumor that all proselyting missionaries may in future include larger chunks  of service time.

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4 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

http://ldschurchgrowth.blogspot.com/2019/04/2018-statistical-report.html?m=1

For interesting analysis and context. Slowest growth rate since 1937. Huge spike in the number of records removed (deaths, members of record not baptized turning 18, and excommunications/name removal requests). 

Just saw this posted:

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2019/04/06/lds-church-tops-million/

“Amid the 2018 statistic report announced Saturday by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is a startling finding: the largest number of membership records ever removed in a single year — 140,868.”

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33 minutes ago, JulieM said:

Just saw this posted:

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2019/04/06/lds-church-tops-million/

“Amid the 2018 statistic report announced Saturday by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is a startling finding: the largest number of membership records ever removed in a single year — 140,868.”

 

Yep... it is the largest.  2014 was close at 122,000 or 0.81% of the church membership figure from the previous year (2018 was 0.87%).

The global mortality rate is roughly 0.8% so we really should hover somewhere above that number for records removed given that this figure represents not just deaths but also resignations, excommunications, and children of record that age out and are dropped from the records (or should be).  Although, it will also be countered by the number of members who are not active and so we don't know when they pass away.

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Gotta love the comment used above: "The Church could help by subsidizing or subventing (sic) higher education for members, establishing daycare systems, or the like.  Otherwise the decline will continue unabated."

Love the arrogance of the Left and others, arguing that if only the government (or the Church in this case) would subsidize child care, make education free or something else, then birthrates will rebound.

Fighting the drop in birthrates is like fighting the ocean's tides. Not going to work, as we have seen time and time again in other countries.

Many different countries have tried the strategies to increase or just maintain fertility rates that you have suggested to no avail. The Left's favorite countries in Norway, Sweden and Denmark have been pursuing these policies for years with no real impact on the decline in birthrates.  All of these countries have birthrates well below replacement rates.

Singapore has been pursuing other strategies, including paying direct subsidies per child to parents to no avail as birthrates are still very low. Same with Japan (with a population in general decline).  China is panicking as their birthrates are now well below replacement and worries about having enough workers to support industry and pension systems loom in the next decade or so.

Replacement fertility rate is 2.1 to keep the population even.  The US average is about 1.8. Only reason population in US is growing is because of immigration.

Utah's fertility rate is about 2.3, barely above replacement rate.  Church growth will slow accordingly (I would guess active LDS fertility rate is higher than 2.3 as the non-LDS population probably mirrors the US average of 1.8,  but still much lower than in the past).

But, you say, what about Latin America membership? Doesn't Donald Trump say the hordes are coming from Latin America?  Latin America's birth rates have also dropped precipitously as well over the past decade and are below 3.0 and closing in on 2.1.  Growth there will drop as well from Church members and new member recruitment.

The only places with high birth rates left in the world are in the MIddle East  and Africa.  Birthrates there will eventually drop as urbanization increases, government programs replace parents reliance on their children to take care of them and infant mortality drops.

Demographic trends show that Church growth will slow along with general population growth, unless some awesome missionary program increases productivity of the proselyting effort (which is unlikely in my opinion).

Demographics will drive the future of the world and the Church.

Just my opinion.

jb

 

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Maybe the queue of unborn spirits is getting shorter.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, JulieM said:

Just saw this posted:

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2019/04/06/lds-church-tops-million/

“Amid the 2018 statistic report announced Saturday by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is a startling finding: the largest number of membership records ever removed in a single year — 140,868.”

It's interesting to hear how they got that number and the different factors involved:

Quote

 

To get the number of records removed, Martinich adds the number of convert baptisms to the increase in number of “children of record” born to Latter-day Saints. That brings the total to 336,434. Then, he subtracts the number of members reported in 2017 from the ones reported in 2018, which makes the net increase a mere 195,566.

“This is the lowest net increase in church membership since 1978,” Martinich said on his blog, ldschurchgrowth.blogspot.com. “when the church reported a net increase of 194,000 members.”

The removals could be caused by a number of factors, Martinich said.

It could be due to more children born during these years who reached baptism age of 8, but were not baptized. It might reflect more deaths due to an aging church membership, he said. Or it could signal that more individuals requested to have their names removed from church records, which may have increased in 2018 “compared to previous years.”

 

 

Edited by ALarson

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10 hours ago, jbarm said:

Demographics will drive the future of the world and the Church.

Just my opinion.

jb

 

Good points.  I don't think most people realize how dramatically birthrate trends have been changing all over the world and what the implications are for the future.

Here's a good podcast that shows what's going on in South Korea:

Not Making Babies in South Korea

Quote

Why does South Korea have the lowest fertility rate in the world? The average South Korean woman is expected to have 1.05 children in her life - exactly half the rate needed to maintain a population. That means a shrinking workforce paying less taxes and more elderly people who will need expensive care. South Korea's government has pumped tens of billions of pounds into dealing with the problem over the past decade, but the fertility rate is still going down. In this whodunnit, Simon Maybin finds out who's not doing it - and why.

 

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

This doesn't surprise me.  The climate/culture right now is for people to have their names removed as part of a personal statement of disagreement.  I'm also sure that the groups devoted to helping people remove their names helps increase those numbers.  I think in the past, when people stopped believing or agreeing with the church, they were more likely to just stop going and leave it at that.

Part of me approves of this. Makes ministering easier.

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I don't think its resignations. The Church is not immune from the trends that all Christian churches’ demographics have been dramatically shifting older… and old people don’t bear children, and they die off rapidly.

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13 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Maybe the queue of unborn spirits is getting shorter.

Considering we have 1000 years during Christ’s reign to have children I find that unlikely 

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Posted (edited)

In the 70s the adage was: Multiply and replenish the earth. Birth control was not recommended. Mormons in general had big families. Many kids running around. It is different now. The lds have become more like others, smaller families.

No surprise about the declining membership. the lds church has been under constant attack for many years now since the arrival of the internet. And the book of mormon has been central to that attack. Christianity has in general been under attack, especially from hollywood as it influences values which can be just the opposite of the lds church. With such attacks, is it a surprise that  some members are falling away? I find it amazing that members can stand at the podium one sunday giving their testimonies and then some months later fall away and resign claiming that the lds church is not true and JS lied. And all their blessing that said they had when they gave their testimonies, fly out the window.

Edited by why me
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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Avatar4321 said:

Considering we have 1000 years during Christ’s reign to have children I find that unlikely 

Someone has to be the last one in line. It was meant to be funny.

CFR, please.  I have heard this before, but I would like to see your source, please. 

Edited by Bernard Gui

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13 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Part of me approves of this. Makes ministering easier.

And ward clerking. :) Seriously, though, we must respect people’s wishes. Better to be released from covenants that one does not desire to keep.

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On ‎4‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 12:37 AM, jbarm said:

Gotta love the comment used above: "The Church could help by subsidizing or subventing (sic) higher education for members, establishing daycare systems, or the like.  Otherwise the decline will continue unabated."

Love the arrogance of the Left and others, arguing that if only the government (or the Church in this case) would subsidize child care, make education free or something else, then birthrates will rebound.

Fighting the drop in birthrates is like fighting the ocean's tides. Not going to work, as we have seen time and time again in other countries.

You may be right about fighting the ocean tides but I had to laugh at the insinuation that Robert F Smith is representing the "arrogance of the left".  :) 

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On 4/6/2019 at 4:52 PM, rockpond said:

Very little increase in the number of wards/branches... up just 0.10% from last year (ten year average was 0.9%).

I think the number of wards/branches is usually the best indicator of growth of the number of active members.  However, because of the large consolidation of units in Mexico in 2018, this statistic is skewed.  2018 ended with 140 fewer units in Mexico than there were at the start of the year.  I believe that is likely a one-time event, so for 2019 we should see much bigger increase in units than the 30 for 2018.

 

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14 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Someone has to be the last one in line. It was meant to be funny.

CFR, please.  I have heard this before, but I would like to see your source, please. 

Don’t know that I have one. But I’ve seen nothing saying we won’t have children during the millennium 

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Note that I qualified my comment. ...and others...

Don't want to exclude anyone based on political beliefs.  🙂

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Avatar4321 said:

Don’t know that I have one. But I’ve seen nothing saying we won’t have children during the millennium 

Main issue is whether those in the millennium are translated or not and whether translated being can have children. I personally don't buy the rapture/translated interpretation of Mormon millennialism so it's not an issue for me. But it is for some. Honestly let's be honest. Most about the millennium and 2cd coming is pretty filled with symbolism, archetypes and ambiguities. Anyone saying exactly what will happen is probably not recognizing how much of their own speculation makes up their views.

1 hour ago, Oliblish said:

I think the number of wards/branches is usually the best indicator of growth of the number of active members.  However, because of the large consolidation of units in Mexico in 2018, this statistic is skewed.  2018 ended with 140 fewer units in Mexico than there were at the start of the year.  I believe that is likely a one-time event, so for 2019 we should see much bigger increase in units than the 30 for 2018.

The problem is that the "ideal" size of a ward really ebbs and flows. Then you have smaller areas of wards/branches where the size doesn't particularly represent much relative to the ideal. For instance the majority of wards/branches in Nova Scotia were quite small and given population outflows (young people moving to the cities) weren't apt to grow. 

I understand ward/branches avoiding the problems of some of the other numbers, mind you. But I think they are problematic over time - particularly when big shifts in ward size happen. (Such as in Mexico and Europe the past year or two as you noted)

On 4/7/2019 at 3:39 PM, why me said:

In the 70s the adage was: Multiply and replenish the earth. Birth control was not recommended. Mormons in general had big families. Many kids running around. It is different now. The lds have become more like others, smaller families.

This is quite true. Mormons still are most fertile. Utah has the second highest fertility number. But people forget that Utah is about where the country was a decade ago. Further only Utah and North Dakota are even above replacement levels. i.e. our fertility really is quite low. Much of US population growth is coming from immigration and that doesn't necessarily favor Mormons. Of course Utah isn't Mormon we should note - presumably non-Mormons are less fertile than Mormons and non-participating Mormons less fertile than active Mormons. 

On 4/6/2019 at 7:57 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

I have heard a rumor that all proselyting missionaries may in future include larger chunks  of service time.

What I've heard is that they are going to start opening up more full time service missions. Part of the issue is the perception that throwing more missionaries and missionary work isn't necessarily more helpful. That is we may have more than enough missionaries out now. We'll see what they do as I hate to say it but I think a big part of the problem in conversions has been changes to missionary work the past decade.

 

 

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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18 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

The problem is that the "ideal" size of a ward really ebbs and flows. Then you have smaller areas of wards/branches where the size doesn't particularly represent much relative to the ideal. For instance the majority of wards/branches in Nova Scotia were quite small and given population outflows (young people moving to the cities) weren't apt to grow. 

I understand ward/branches avoiding the problems of some of the other numbers, mind you. But I think they are problematic over time - particularly when big shifts in ward size happen. (Such as in Mexico and Europe the past year or two as you noted)

I agree with you that tracking unit numbers doesn't tell us everything, but I believe it is the best metric we have compared to the other official numbers that are publicly available.

Quote

I understand ward/branches avoiding the problems of some of the other numbers, mind you. But I think they are problematic over time - particularly when big shifts in ward size happen. (Such as in Mexico and Europe the past year or two as you noted)

Some of the recent changes (2 hour block and merging of HP quorums) may affect the minimum size of wards and branches in the future as well.  There are fewer lessons to be taught and fewer MP callings to fill.  This could lead to fewer units needing to be consolidated in the future as populations shift.

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7 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

This is quite true. Mormons still are most fertile. Utah has the second highest fertility number. But people forget that Utah is about where the country was a decade ago. Further only Utah and North Dakota are even above replacement levels. i.e. our fertility really is quite low. Much of US population growth is coming from immigration and that doesn't necessarily favor Mormons. Of course Utah isn't Mormon we should note - presumably non-Mormons are less fertile than Mormons and non-participating Mormons less fertile than active Mormons. 

.

 

 

 

Of course the adage was multiplied throughout the church and not just in Utah. The lds are having less children. And this is reflected in the number of children baptized. And this will reflect growith figures. If the lds would have on average 6 children, the growth rate would surge. In Islamic societies, the number of children per family is quite huge. They have the same adage of mulitply and replenish the earth and they are complying.

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30 minutes ago, why me said:

In Islamic societies, the number of children per family is quite huge. They have the same adage of mulitply and replenish the earth and they are complying.

That in part is dependent on the surrounding culture.  In the US, the average is 2.4 vs the 2.1 of the general population (40-59).  Saints beat both out with 3.4 children (stats from Pew research, if you need exact page let me know).

Muslims tend to have .5 more children than the average in their area:

https://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/muslims/pf_15-04-02_projectionstables75/

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