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The 2020 statistical report of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been released online. The numbers included in the report show the growth and status of the Church as of December 31, 2020.
Like many aspects of last year, the statistical report is a bit different from previous years. Membership increased by just under 100,000, putting total Church membership at 16,663,663. Last year there were approximately 100,000 fewer converts baptized than in 2019. The number of full-time missionaries also decreased by about 15,000.
The report is broken into four sections:
- • The number of stakes grew by 26 from 3,437 at the end of 2019 to 3,463 at the end of 2020.
- • The number of missions grew by 6 from 399 at the end of 2019 to 405 at the end of 2020.
- • The number of districts shrunk by 5 from 542 at the end of 2019 to 537 at the end of 2020.
- • The number of wards and branches grew by 196 from 30,940 at the end of 2019 to 31,136 at the end of 2020.
In March 2020, the First Presidency sent a letter temporarily suspending all worship services worldwide. Through a video message released in March 2020, President Russell M. Nelson shared, “After prayerful consideration, and with our deep desire to be part of the solution to this challenge, we have recently made many temporary adjustments to the way we worship and serve the Lord. We are most grateful for your faith, your prayers, your cooperation, and understanding. These unique challenges will pass in due time.”
The number of units organized in 2020 is fewer than the number of units organized in other years. In May 2020, some areas began to meet again with COVID-19 precautions in place after First Presidency direction. Most ward meetings continue to look a bit different than normal. In Utah, the second hour of Church worship remains virtual for most congregations.
- • The total membership of the Church grew by 98,627 from 16,565,036 at the end of 2019 to 16,663,663 at the end of 2020.
- • The new children of record during 2020 shrunk by 28,826 from 94,266 at the end of 2019 to 65,440 at the end of 2020.
- • The number of converts baptized during 2020 shrunk by 122,905, with 248,835 converts baptized in 2019 to 125,930 in 2020.
Despite the pandemic, membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has continued to grow. In a June 2020 message called “Embracing the Future of Missionary Work,” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained how missionary work has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are continuing to learn of the immense good that comes from the righteous and intentional use of technology,” he wrote in an article on Newsroom. “Sometimes we think of the Internet and social media as an enemy because there can be so much negativity there. However, the Internet can be a friend to us when we use it correctly.”
- • The number of full-time missionaries shrunk by 15,202 from 67,021 at the end of 2019 to 51,819 at the end of 2020.
- • The number of Church-service missionaries shrunk by 806 from 31,333 at the end of 2019 to 30,527 at the end of 2020.
Following media inquires in January 2020 regarding the coronavirus, a Church spokesman released a statement saying, “There are more than 67,000 missionaries serving around the world and their health and safety is our top priority.” The statement explained that the Church was closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and was ready to make adjustments as needed.
And make adjustments they did. In March 2020, Missionary Training Centers closed, with instruction being given online rather than in person. A substantial number of missionaries also returned home to their home countries and were provided with options to be reinstated either to their original or temporary assignment as soon as conditions allow (with original end date) or delay their mission with a new end date.
With all of the changes to missionary work during the pandemic, the number of missionaries decreased in 2020.
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- • Compared to the six temples dedicated in 2019, only one temple was dedicated in 2020: the Durban South Africa Temple. Dedications for the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple and the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple were scheduled in 2020 but were postponed because of the pandemic.
- • No temples were rededicated in 2020 compared to the seven temples that were rededicated in 2019. The Washington D.C. Temple was originally scheduled to be rededicated in December 2020, but the dedication was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- • The number of temples in operation grew by one in 2020 with the dedication of the Durban South Africa Temple. There are now 168 operating temples, with 63 under construction or announced.
- • Not included in the 2020 statistical report in regard to temples are the number of temples announced (14) and the number of temples that started construction (21). The Salt Lake Temple and the Columbus Ohio Temple also began major renovations.
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Take a look at the 2020 statistical report below or find the 2019 statistical report here.
Wards and Branches
New children of record during 2020
Converts baptized during 2020
Temples dedicated during 2020—Durban South Africa Temple (February 16, 2020)
Temples rededicated during 2020
Temples in operation
Lead image: Deseret News
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