“Church Notes 1992 Growth,” Ensign, Aug. 1993, 75
Worldwide membership of the Church totaled 8.4 million as of 1 January 1993. That figure represents an increase of 317,000 or 3.9 percent during 1992. Officials now estimate current membership at more than 8.5 million and climbing.
Worldwide, someone joins the Church every minute and 55 seconds, said W. Larry Elkington, manager of the Church’s Management Information Center.
Organized in 1830, the Church created the 500th stake in 1970, the 1,000th stake in 1979, and the 1,500th stake in 1984. The 2,000th stake could be organized before the end of this year. Of the 1919 stakes at the first of the year, eighty-two were formed in 1992.
“Thirty years ago, 90 percent of Church members lived in the United States and Canada,” Brother Elkington said. “That percentage continues to shrink annually. The percentage was down to 73 percent in 1980, 67 percent in 1985, and 57 percent in 1990. Today it is at 54 percent.”
There are now more than 1.5 million members of the Church in South America. Since 1980, membership in Brazil has risen from 99,000 to more than 400,000. Church membership in the Philippines has gone from 43,000 to more than 280,000, added Brother Elkington.
In addition to the United States, which has more than 4.4 million members, nine other countries have more than 100,000 members. Thirty-eight countries have at least 10,000 members.
The ratio of Church members in the national populations varies widely, from a low of less than .1 per thousand in several countries to more than 330 per thousand in Tonga. In eight countries, at least 1 percent of the population are members of the LDS Church.
If growth rates for the past decade remain constant, membership will increase to 12 million by the year 2000, to 35 million by 2020, and to 157 million by the mid-twenty-first century.
There are approximately 48,000 full-time missionaries teaching in 69 languages, serving in 110 nations throughout the world. The Church had 295 missions in May 1993.
States with the highest number of Latter-day Saints are Utah, 1,363,000; California, 721,000; Idaho, 303,000; Arizona, 244,000; Washington, 194,000; Texas, 158,000; Oregon, 115,000; and Nevada, 112,000.
In the state of Utah, the percentage of residents who are members of the Church is the greatest in the following counties: Rich, 98.6 percent; Sanpete, 91.6; Morgan, 90.9; Utah, 89.9; Millard, 89.2; Sevier, 87.3; Wayne, 86.1; Juab, 85.7; Cache, 85.5; and Garfield, 85.5. The percentage in Salt Lake County is 64.3, with the overall state average at 71.8 percent.