Thursday, May 7, 2009

Change In The Ratio of LDS Members to Non-LDS Members In The United States

Since the year 2000, we have seen substantial changes in how membership is distributed in the United States. Not only have many states' Church membership and number of congregations grown substantially since 2000, but we have seen membership increase at a faster rate than the population. The five states which have seen the strongest membership growth by percentage from 2000 to 2008 are Tennessee (36.5%), West Virginia (35.1%), Kentucky (31.4%), Iowa (30.7%), and South Carolina (29.5%). These five states have the strongest growth as a result of converts joining the Church and Church members moving to them. One of the highest baptizing missions in the Church in the Southeast of the United States is the Tennessee Nashville Mission. Only three states' Church membership grew by less than 10% since 2000: California (0.9%), Oregon (6.8%) and New Hampshire (8.6%).

The percentage of members in the general population of a state (expressed as one member per "x" many people in the table below) increased most dramatically in Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Minnesota. Six states saw a modest decline in this statistic: California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, and Idaho. As for the United States as a whole, the ratio of members to non-members increased from 1 in 54 to 1 in 51.
Click on the table below to view.


jessica said...

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Name said...

I am confused by how you calculate member density. For Utah the table shows 1 member for 1 "people" in the state. Yet, not 100% of the people in Utah are members.

Matt said...

These statistics are calculated by dividing the state population by LDS membership, indicate that there is one Latter-day Saint per "x" number of people. For states in which Latter-day Saints comprise a higher percentage of the population, this method is less effective. In states like Utah and Idaho, percentages are easier to visualize and more accurate.