Growth and Size of the Church

The growth of the Church is exponential and among the fastest of any denomination on the planet. ()

  • In the last 50 years, membership has increased ten-fold.
  • In the last 15 years, an average of 800 people have joined the church every day.
  • Absolute growth is greatest in Latin America, but the rate of growth is highest in Africa and the former Soviet bloc.
  • In 1984, a prominent non-LDS researcher estimated that our membership would top 265 million by 2080 and said we would be the “first ‘new’ major world religion since Islam.” So far growth has exceeded his model’s predictions.

A graph showing growth

Click on the image below to see a video depicting our worldwide growth. (A “stake” is more or less equivalent to a large Catholic parish.
(Accurate as of ~2003.)

Worldwide, there are over 25,000 LDS congregations, and the basic curriculum text is available in over 175 languages. The Church creates about two new congregations every day.
(Accurate as of ~2004.)

Some surveys suggest that the LDS Church has the highest U.S. attendance and service rates.
(Accurate as of 2006.)

There are church members living in countries all over the world.
One way to classify religions is by grouping them into religious movements. Religious movements include those churches with central leadership and doctrinal uniformity (e.g. the Catholic Church) as well as those that lack central leadership. An example of the latter type is the “Assembly of God movement,” which is comprised of many churches that are generally classified together even though each congregation has autonomy to teach as it pleases.

(Accurate as of 1999?)

When one considers only religious bodies, i.e. those religions with central leadership and doctrinal unity…

  • The LDS Church is the 9th largest religious body in the world and the 4th largest international religious body.

(Note that my classification of the Eastern Orthodox Church as a movement rather than a body is debatable.)
(Accurate as of 1999?)

It is also interesting to consider those religions that are the most ubiquitous (meaning most likely to have a meeting place “near you”).

  • The LDS Church is the 5th most ubiquitous religious movement in the world and the 4th most ubiquitous religious body.

(Accurate as of 1999?)

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