Those Mormons Keep On Growing

Salt Lake Temple

Salt Lake Temple viewed from the Church Office Building 1979

The 2010 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches reports total church membership of 147,384,631, up 0.49 percent over 2009. The top five churches listed in order of size of membership:

  1. The Catholic Church, 68,115,001, up 1.49 percent.
  2. Southern Baptist Convention, 16,228,438, down 0.24 percent.
  3. The United Methodist Church, 7,853,987, down 0.98 percent.
  4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5,974,041, up 1.71 percent.
  5. The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875, no updates reported.

Churches reporting the highest membership losses:

  1. Presbyterian Church (USA), down 3.28 percent to 2,941,412.
  2. American Baptist Churches in the USA, down 2 percent to 1,358,351.
  3. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, down 1.92 percent to 4,709,956.

How many years will it take for the LDS Church to overtake the United Methodists and occupy third place? To find out I have assumed the UMC continues with a rate of decline of .98% and the LDS with a steady 1.71% increase. The figures reported in the yearbook are for 2008.

My calculations indicate that by the end of 2019, less than ten years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be the third largest church in the United States.

If the table formatting is scrambled, view the table here.

Year UMC -0.98% LDS +1.71%
2009 7,853,987 76,969 5,974,041 102,156
2010 7,777,018 76,215 6,076,197 103,903
2011 7,700,803 75,468 6,180,100 105,680
2012 7,625,335 74,728 6,285,780 107,487
2013 7,550,607 73,996 6,393,267 109,325
2014 7,476,611 73,271 6,502,591 111,194
2015 7,403,340 72,553 6,613,786 113,096
2016 7,330,788 71,842 6,726,882 115,030
2017 7,258,946 71,138 6,841,911 116,997
2018 7,187,808 70,441 6,958,908 118,997
2019 7,117,368 69,750 7,077,905 121,032
2020 7,047,617 69,067 7,198,937 123,102

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Note: The result of the percentage decline or increase is shown in the following year, hence the result of UMC’s forecast -.98% decline of 76,969 in 2009 is shown in 2010 as 7,777,018 (7,853,987 – 76,969).
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