Thursday, April 10, 2014

Growth by Country of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2013

This is the second of three posts statistically comparing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  The first post compared the geographic distribution of members.  This post examines their international growth by country, and the final, growth over time.  The same disclaimer applies to this post as the fist.  My comparison is statistical, not theological.  Nothing presented should be viewed as indicating that one church is superior to the other.
Some basic definitions are in order.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses count a person as a publisher if he or she reports at least one hour teaching non-members per month.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints count as members children of record and people eight years and older who have been baptized.  Children of record refers to the children of members who are not yet nine years-old.  To be somewhat redundant, a child of a member who turns nine without being baptized is no longer part of the Church membership tally. 

The first color map shows the distribution of the growth in peak publishers throughout the world and the second, growth in Mormon membership.  There are similarities and differences to the distribution of growth.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses map looks darker green signifying lower growth but the nature of the map is due to the fastest growing country, Burundi, being geographically small and growing faster than other countries.  The table below the text compares the top ten fastest growing countries for both Churches.  Again, Mormon growth looks higher but this is at least in part due to comparing apples and oranges, or more accurately, participating and non-participating members. 

Both churches were growing faster in Africa than elsewhere.  Six of the top ten countries for the Jehovah’s Witnesses and eight for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were in Africa.  Two of the countries, Madagascar and Uganda made both lists.  In Asia, Malaysia made both lists as well.  In addition, Taiwan and Thailand made the Jehovah’s Witnesses list.  Both Churches had one South American country, Ecuador for the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Guyana for the Latter-day Saints complete their lists. 

Growth in Jehovah’s Witnesses Peak Publishers and LDS Membership: 2013-2003

Country Peak Publishers   Members
Malaysia 15.26
Angola 6.82 Guyana 15.11
Malaysia 6.82 Malawi 14.99
Uganda 6.35 Mozambique 13.32
Taiwan 6.25 Madagascar 13.24
Thailand 6.00 Uganda 13.21
Equatorial Guinea 5.75 Ethiopia 12.35
Ecuador 5.43 Botswana 10.53
For countries with more than 1,000 peak publishers or members in 2013.  

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