Mormon Global Growth Rates 2015-2019

This article builds on an earlier post about growth rates per US state from 2015 to 2018. It is now expanded to cover all regions as defined by the Mormon Church in its statistical reporting at Also, a prediction for 2019 has been added by extending the trend of the previous years using the least squares method. Finally, the growth patterns are now calculated from a moving average rather than estimated on sight.

Global growth

The overall conclusion is that the global Church is still growing. While the Mormon growth rate is declining, it is still higher than the world population growth rate – although not for much longer if the current trends persist.


The Church shows impressive growth rates in Africa, comparable to those in the golden age of Mormonism (between the end of World War II and the arrival of the internet). Nevertheless, growth rates in Africa are declining. Only 22% of all African members live in countries with increasing growth rates. However, given the low internet penetration rate of the continent, African growth rates may yet remain strong for several years.


Growth in Asia is essentially stable around 2%. While the region technically exhibits an increasing growth pattern, the increase is only found at the second decimal point: from a moving average of 2.05% in 2016 to 2.07% in 2018.


Perhaps surprisingly, Europe displays an increasing growth pattern as well. As in Asia, the increase is marginal in Europe too. Both in Europe and Asia, however, about 70% of the members live in countries with increasing growth rates. Therefore, growth rates may continue to (marginally) improve in these regions in the coming years.

North America (excl. USA)

Many of the countries in this region are small islands where minor changes in absolute terms (a military family moving in or out, for instance) can have a big impact on relative rates. Looking at the top ten countries in this region, only two exhibit an increasing growth pattern. On the whole, nine out of ten North American Mormons live in countries where growth is slowing down.


About half the members of this region live in two countries, Australia and New Zealand, both of which show declining growth. Strong growth is mostly seen on small islands like the Solomons or Vanuatu, and is likely to have little impact on global growth.

South America

Growth patterns in South America are a mixed bag. The three countries with the largest Mormon presence are Brazil, Peru and Chili. Over 60% of all South American members live there. While the trend is increasing in the latter two, it is decreasing in Brazil, which has more members than the other two combined.


With all this talk of decreasing growth patterns, it is worth repeating that we are still talking about growth – but for how long?

In 2018, two thirds of all Mormons lived in countries with decreasing growth rates. For the US, this number was 78% and for the rest of North America 93%.

For 2019, the number of countries or states with officially reported negative growth is projected to increase from 30 to 50, adding up to a loss of almost 13,000 members.

Out of the 200,500 converts expected for 2019, some 135,000 will stop attending Church services within 12 months after baptism.

For 2020, the number of converts may drop below 200,000 for the first time since 1985, even though the number of missionaries has more than doubled in that period.

It seems that’s 2015 prediction that “growth rates will continue to decline and Mormon church membership will level off at about 20 million [in 2045] – give or take a few years and/or a couple of million” still holds.

With the additional data since 2015, the model indicates a maximum of 18 million members in 2038. Unless, of course, then President Bednar or his predecessors Oaks and Holland manage to reinvent Mormonism for the 21st century (probability not calculated).