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