When do you think the org reached peak numbers?

by Mickey mouse 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    I'm talking real numbers here, not the stuff they publish which is skewed by allowing people to count 15 minutes/both parents counting study time with children. When did they reach their peak publishers?

    My guess would be the early 2000's. I think the generation change in '95 was the begininng of the slide but 9/11 gave them a little boost. I'm pretty sure if the numbers hadn't been massaged it would be downhill from there ever since.

  • Quarterback

    I thought that the mid 70's was a peak of some sort ...fear of being to the end....then a fallout occurred...due to dissappointment

  • alanv

    I think it is very true that the society will never again see the increases of the 1970s. The internet has made sure of that by informing all new ones what to expect when they join and if they want to leave.

    However the society is still increasing in numbers, which can be seen in the baptism figures which were up on the previous year by around 6%.

    But many of those new ones leave, so the actual increase hovers around 2-3%.

    Certainly it seems to take a lot more hours to convert one person to baptism than it used to.

    Lots of good stuff at the JWfacts site.


  • exwhyzee

    Re: When do you think the org reached peak numbers?

    The day before the Internet went live.

  • ziddina

    I'd say that they had their greatest INCREASES prior to 1975...

    However, since they are still accumulating members - albeit at a much slower rate - I'd say that their peak numbers exist now...

    But their peak GROWTH occured prior to 1975. Might occur again, if the Watchtower Society hangs on thru another generation or two, and enough people have forgotten the "1975" debacle. That is not likely to occur in the western world, or "First World" countries.

    Another element may also come into play, and this has been mentioned many times on this board.

    The Watchtower Society appears to be focusing on Africa, now, where few people have access to the internet and there is still a strong current of religious belief. We may yet see increases that match or exceed the pre-1975 hysteria, but with the increases located primarily in Africa.

    Of course, if/as Africa becomes more advanced with greater access to internet services, their increases in Africa will also ultimately slow down.

    That's my two cents...

  • kurtbethel

    Africa is too wonderful a place to be afflicted with this sort of malignant cancer.

    Cape Town

  • WTWizard

    I think they were dying off since the mid 1990s. They had a big pickup in the early and mid 1970s, and then they fizzled some. After that, they had another spell of growth in the mid and late 1980s, as if it was starting to become a mini-fad. Once that died off, things began going downhill fast. And I would say that 1992 or 1993 was the tipping point.

  • truthlover

    I copied the info at JWFacts to my files but could not get the graphs to copy - is there a way to do that?

    Its very concise information -- I have been setting up a word sheet with all the info since 1920's BUT this stat report is really great! Saves a lot of time and effort...

    Anyone tell me how to get the graphs please???

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    They'll reach 10 million or more before they peak in total numbers. The simple birth rate will take care of that.

    But real, genuine, true-believing members? Yeah, that peaked in the spring/summer of 1975.

  • sir82
    I'm talking real numbers here, not the stuff they publish which is skewed by allowing people to count 15 minutes/both parents counting study time with children.

    Dude, they're still growing.

    You might not like it, you might find it repellent, but they are still growing.

    English-language congregations in the US (which I'm guessing you are the most familiar with) are beginning to decline, but Spanish-language congregations in the US are bursting at the seams, probably growing at around 10% per year. There are 300,000+ Spanish language JWs in the US alone.

    In Central & South America, Africa, and Eastern Europe, they continue to grow at a fast pace.

    Far fewer than 1% of JWs count "15 minutes" of field service time. "Both parents counting study time" increases the number of hours reported, not the number of publishers.

    JWs fill a niche. There will always be a certain percentage of people who look for organizations to tell them what to do, or to think for them, or to decide for them, or to provide them with a measure of hope and social support in times of difficulty. The JW organization is here to stay, into the indefinite future.

    All that being said, I do think the organization will go in decline, but probably not for another 10-15 years. Decline, not disappearance.

Share this