Changing Demographics of the LDS Church

According to an newspaper article by Joseph Walker (DN 22 Feb 2013):

The [LDS] Church is opening 58 new missions in July [in part to accommodate the large influx of new missionaries caused by the recent lowering of age limits], bringing the total number of church missions in the world to 405.  Seventeen of the new missions are in the United States. . . .

There will only be one new mission in Europe, and that is in the Ukraine.  There are no new missions in western Europe.

Thirty-six of the new missions (or 62 percent of the total) are in Africa, South America, Mexico/Central America, and SE Asia.  Countries, besides the United States, receiving multiple new missions include Mexico (8), Brazil (7), and the Philippines (4).

It appears from a quick analysis of these numbers that the demographics of the Mormon Church is shifting rapidly from being middle-class American/European to being multi-ethnic and comparatively poor.  I’ve heard estimates that by 2025, the majority of Church members will be living in developing countries.

As members of the Church, we can view they projections with concern, or as an opportunity.  I prefer to view them as the latter.

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