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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: June 24, 2013 04:23PM

[Edit to change data to exact values from census rather than rounded values, which did change some results, and corrected error in Sask. data]

Here is some real, third-party data on LDS membership numbers. These are from the 2001 and 2011 Canadian Cenuses. Canada is of particular interest, because it has the second largest multi-generational BIC Mormon population in the world, thanks to the polygamists who migrated to Cardston, Alberta in 1887. This gives us a chance to see what effect Bob McCue in Calgary and Tal Bachman in BC, among others fighting the good fight in Canada, may have had on their respective communities.

BTW, cumorah dot com reports membership (LDS Inc numbers) in Canada as 172,000, and their own estimate of active members is 69,000. Those sound about right, compared to the Canadian Census figures. However, the computed LDS growth rate is 1.78% per year. That, you will see, is so bogus as to be comical.

This data is a comparison of the concentration of LDS members in the western and large provinces if Canada, and major cities in Canada, and in Alberta, which is the mothership for Canadian Mormonism, 2001 versus 2011.

Final figures first. Here's the percentage amount the concentration of Mormons increased or decreased. There were decreases EVERYWHERE except for Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which between them had only about 5,000 Mormons. Those two provinces increased by 310 members total.

Nota Bene: "Percent change in LDS concentration" is not the same thing as "drop in LDS numbers". In most regions (but not all), the raw numbers of Mormons went up, but the overall population went up even more, resulting in a net decrease in the percentage of the population that is Mormon. That is really the number you need to look at to see whether they are growing or not. So, here it is.

Note, all percentages below are for a TEN year period, NOT a ONE year period.

Region, 2001-2011 Percent change in LDS concentration

Canada, -6.6%

Quebec, -8.0%
Ontario, -9.5%

Manitoba, 2.0%
Saskatchewan, 0.9%

Alberta, -9.3%
British Columbia, -18.9%

Calgary, AB, -21.8%
Lethbridge, AB, -8.2%
Edmonton, AB, -8.1%

Vancouver, BC, -15.3%
Montréal, PQ, -9.0%
Toronto, ON, -19.3%

2011 National Household Survey Data tables, Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity, item 7 (religion), catalogue number 99-010-X2011032
topic 20, Religions in Canada, table 2, Religion and Immigrant Status

Alberta data may be skewed some by the fact that there has been a fairly large population increase there over the last decade because of the energy boom, which exaggerates how much Mormonism is shrinking.

OTOH, in Lethbridge, the raw percentage of Mormons went up 42%. The overall population went up 55%, so the concentration of Mormons in Lethbridge went down. However, In Calgary, it looks like the overall population went up 27%, and the number of self-reported Mormons in Calgary actually went down slightly. The 10 year percentage change in the concentration of Mormons in Calgary dropped very sharply.

British Columbia had a large drop in LDS population, both in raw numbers, and a very large percentage drop in their concentration in the overall population. This too was no doubt affected by the Alberta energy boom. Some transplanted Albertans moved back from BC to AB when the job market got hot. That likely accounts for the big LDS growth spurt in Lethbridge.

However, there was no similar spike in the LDS population in Calgary or Edmonton. Clearly, some of the returning Mormons from BC had to have moved to those two cities as well, so the shrinkage of the Mormon population in Calgary and Edmonton may well be worse than the figures indicate. BC move-ins may have partially masked the dropout rate of local Mormons.

Also, the announced temple in Winnipeg, Manitoba, will only be serving Manitoba members. There are already temples in all the surrounding states and provinces (Twin Cities, MN, Bismarck, ND, Billings, MT and Regina, SK). That means they will have a temple for 1,800 members. That's not even a single decent sized stake.

One warning: the long form for the 2011 Canadian Census was not required to be filled out under penalty of law. There was between a 22 to 27 percent nonresponse rate in the various jurisdictions in my table. This means the data is not as statistically robust as the 2001 data, but that does not necessarily mean that Mormons were undercounted in 2011. In fact, a good case can be made that church leaders, encouraging members to be sure and send in their long form if they got one, may have generated an above average response rate from the Mormon community.

Whatever. For quick and dirty statistical analysis on large populations (major cities and provinces), this data is "close enough for government work", so to speak. The window of uncertainty is a little wider on the 2011 data, but still, there is no doubt that the percentage of Mormons in Canada is going down essentially nationwide.

Here is the raw data from the census data referenced above. The RFM list software removed all the formatting, so it looks awful. If you want a spreadsheet with the data, email me. Click on my username to get my address.

Region, pop 2001, LDS 2001, pop 2011, LDS 2011
Canada, 29,639,035. 101,805. 32,852,320. 105,365.

Quebec, 7,125,580. 4,420. 7,732,520. 4,415.
Ontario, 11,285,545. 20,355. 12,651,790. 20,640.

Manitoba, 1,103,700. 1,700. 1,174,345. 1,845.
Saskatchewan, 963,150. 2,885. 1,008,760. 3,050.

Alberta, 2,941,150. 50,580. 3,567,980. 55,625.
British Columbia, 3,868,875. 17,590. 4,324,455. 15,940.

Calgary, AB, 943,315. 13,070. 1,199,125. 12,990.
Lethbridge, AB, 66,270. 5,680. 102,785. 8,090.
Edmonton, AB, 927,020. 7,890. 1,140,000. 8,920.

Vancouver, BC, 1,967,480. 5,220. 2,280,695. 5,125.
Montréal, PQ, 3,380,645. 2,825. 3,752,475. 2,855.
Toronto, ON, 4,647,960. 5,755. 5,521,235. 5,515.

Here are some derived statistics from the raw data:
Region, raw % lds increase, 2001 LDS concentration in general pop, 2011 LDS concentration in general pop, 2011-2001 change in LDS concentration
Canada, 3.50%, 0.3435%, 0.3207%, -0.0228%

Quebec, -0.11%, 0.0620%, 0.0571%, -0.0049%
Ontario, 1.40%, 0.1804%, 0.1631%, -0.0172%

Manitoba, 8.53%, 0.1540%, 0.1571%, 0.0031%
Saskatchewan, 5.72%, 0.2995%, 0.3024%, 0.0028%

Alberta, 9.97%, 1.7197%, 1.5590%, -0.1607%
British Columbia, -9.38%, 0.4547%, 0.3686%, -0.0861%

Calgary, AB, -0.61%, 1.3855%, 1.0833%, -0.3022%
Lethbridge, AB,42.43%, 8.5710%, 7.8708%, -0.7002%
Edmonton, AB, 13.05%, 0.8511%, 0.7825%, -0.0687%

Vancouver, BC, -1.82%, 0.2653%, 0.2247%, -0.0406%
Montréal, PQ, 1.06%, 0.0836%, 0.0761%, -0.0075%
Toronto, ON, -4.17%, 0.1238%, 0.0999%, -0.0239%

Again, note that all of the changes in LDS concentration in the general population, with the minor exceptions of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, were negative (i.e., they shrank)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2013 12:50AM by Brother Of Jerry.

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Posted by: Tal Bachman ( )
Date: June 24, 2013 06:24PM

These numbers can't possibly be true, because it says right in the D&C that "the field is white, already to harvest"...

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: June 24, 2013 08:46PM

Yeah. So there. I had to recite that every day at breakfast as a missionary, so I know that it is true.

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Posted by: Stray Mutt ( )
Date: June 24, 2013 09:14PM

Alberta-Saskatchewan, 1971-73. I was stationed just outside Cardston for several months. Spent about half my mission in Saskatchewan. I seriously doubt any of my 21 "converts" still consider themselves Mormons.

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Posted by: No_Hidden_Agenda ( )
Date: June 04, 2014 03:16PM

Northern Alberta 1998-2000.

I'm fairly confident none of my 7 are active either.

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Posted by: Delta ( )
Date: June 04, 2014 11:03PM

Northern as in Fort McMurray? Only asking as I was born there, raised there and first went to TSCC there. Tiny family ward now, mostly old people. Northern Alberta teens are too busy smoking pot and getting laid to be in the MORG- I would know, I'm one of them. Hah! Missionary efforts up there are frivolous at best.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: June 24, 2013 10:41PM

Mormonism has had a missionary presence in Canada since the days of JS, and had the last wagon train in the settlement of the west, in the migration of polygamists from SLC to Cardston, AB.

They have just 105,000 members to show for their almost 2 centuries of work. Most of the members in Canada were born and raised LDS, so the census data shows how well the church is holding onto Mormon "lifers", and the news isn't good for The Suits.

After 10 years worth of births, and 10 years worth of converts, LDS Inc in Canada not only hasn't grown, not even through births. It is actually smaller now that it was in 2001. In the case of British Columbia, a lot smaller. Tal must have really scared those BC Mormons. :)

So, in answer to the question, is LDS Inc stagnant, or shrinking, here's an answer. In Canada is it shrinking. Not stagnant. Shrinking. And it is not somebody's opinion, or SWAG (silly wild-assed guess). This is real data.

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Posted by: ha ( )
Date: June 03, 2014 01:44PM

most canadian mormons move to the usa

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Posted by: ASteve ( )
Date: June 03, 2014 07:37PM

In 1847 maybe.

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Posted by: darkshadow ( )
Date: June 04, 2014 01:20PM

I agree because most of my relatives have left Alberta and move to Utah or Idaho. Lot of my cousins have gone to BYU and are married to people from the US and have never returned to Canada. My extended family was very large. Now they 90% of them live in the US.

Me and my brothers and sisters live all over the US. The world does not revolve around Raymond, Alberta. or the TSCC.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2014 01:21PM by darkshadow.

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Posted by: Delila ( )
Date: June 04, 2014 04:20PM

Maybe we should run the same figures for USA--
LDS population for the last census period vs the previous period and compare that increase to USA population increase for the same period.
The question might be, did the influx of Canadian Mormons to the USA, affect the USA numbers in any significant way?
Somehow, I suspect the Canadian influence would be insignificant.

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Posted by: gentlestrength ( )
Date: June 04, 2014 01:44AM

Come on journalists, bloggers, commenters on the SL Trib.

Let's get this publicized. The Mormon spin should be delightful. I'll bet the Vacouver B. C. Numbers would be comparable to the decline in the Seattle/Tacoma area as well. That is a massive drop in a key urban demographic for the Mormon church. Seattle os one of the biggest cities with a measurable Mormon population.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: June 04, 2014 04:18PM

I doubt Seattle area is quite as bad as BC. Oil industry is pretty hot around Lethbridge these days, and I suspect a lot of BC Mormons originally from southern Alberta moved back because of the good job market. It is a little tougher for people to move across the US/Canada border.

Alberta has a moderate reduction in self-identified Mormons. British Columbia numbers took a very serious hit. I think both are a result of the oil industry. However, the Mormon population of both provinces did shrink.

I have heard that Montana and South Dakota wards have suffered a drain of people moving to the ND Bakken oil field. I even know a few Utahns who have moved there.

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Posted by: gentlestrength ( )
Date: June 04, 2014 08:38PM

You can count on Mormons to have a short-term plan for the earth. Any day now! Get it while you can.

Whether the number is -18% or -9% I am confident the Mormon church is in rapid decline in the PNW, especially west of The Cascades.

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Posted by: karin not logged in ( )
Date: June 04, 2014 01:07PM

There were 2 less in Ontario cause DH and i didn't classify ourselves as Mormons in 2011. I don't think we\d formally resigned yet at that time.

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Posted by: ozpoof ( )
Date: June 04, 2014 03:06PM

Bloody hell!

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Posted by: nodog ( )
Date: June 04, 2014 07:10PM

I grew up in southern Alberta. I knew a lot of Mormons.I think the bic kids would leave at the rate of about 1/3. But when I was young the birth rate was quite high. So even at 1/3 leaving it would still grow.

I think converts represented about 10% of a ya ward but their attrition was much higher.

Going back the ward I went to seems a lot older. Young families don't seem to be the biggest group like they once were.

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