1994
Church Now Recognized in 150 Lands

“Church Now Recognized in 150 Lands,” Ensign, Aug. 1994, 77

Church Now Recognized in 150 Lands

The Church is becoming increasingly well established internationally, and an indication of that growth is the number of organized wards and branches in the world’s countries, territories, and possessions (as defined by the United Nations).

According to the Church Finance and Records Department, the Church has arrived at a new milestone: There are now organized wards and branches in 150 countries, territories, and possessions. Several months ago, the Church organized the 150th unit in Ethiopia.

International growth has been especially significant in the last four decades. Prior to that, the vast majority of the Church population lived in the United States and Canada. Since that time, however, international membership has sharply increased.

An increase in the number of units in countries, territories, and possessions comes in two ways—through the creation of new Church units or the creation of new countries. Both have increased since 1980. (It has only been since 1982 that the distinction between countries, territories, and possessions was made.)

Countries

Territories

Total

1830

1

1850

7

1880

16

1900

21

1920

22

1940

24

1960

47

1970

60

1980

83

1985

95

20

115

1990

107

23

130

1991

115

23

138

1992

122

24

146

1993

125

24

149

1994 (Jan.)

126

24

150

The above chart indicates growth of the Church in countries, territories, and possessions around the world. The significant jump from 1980 to 1985 is due in part to the fact that starting in 1982, territories and possessions with organized Church units were added to the total number of nations.

Below: Charts indicate Church membership growth in the United States and internationally since 1960.

Church membership growth

1960: 91% U.S. & Canada; 9% Other Countries, Territories, and Possessions; Total: 1,693,000

1975: 81% U.S. & Canada; 19% Other Countries, Territories, and Possessions; Total: 3,572,000

1993: 54% U.S. & Canada; 46% Other Countries, Territories, and Possessions; Total: 8,688,000