The big news in 2009, wasn't it, was the economic downturn. Perhaps the WTS does well during depression. If one can't have money, at least one can put on a modicum of spirituality, a spiffy fifties outfit and wear out your shoe leather going door-to-door.
2012 report analysis - countries with reduced publisher figures
CobaltCC - Back in the early 1960's it was 3000 hours per baptism. Then during the late 60's it dropped to under 2000 hours, and early 70's it dropped to under 1500 hours per baptism.
Surely the 1975 hype had nothing to do with it..........
With the claim that the WTS is downsizing and merging branches?
2011 Branch staff: 20,595
2012 Branch staff: 21,612 Increase 1,017 ???
Then, for special pioneers, missionaries and traveling overseers:
2011 - $173 Million
2012 - $184 Million
Well spotted Gayle, those are indeed curious anomalies considering the falling branch numbers...
- 2006 - 114
- 2007 - 113
- 2008 - 115
- 2009 - 118
- 2010 - 116
- 2011 - 98
- 2012 - 96
I wonder what they're up to?
I've put on my geek hat this morning and did an in-depth analysis of over 50 countries that have a population of 20 million or more. I've categorized the results in to Flatline, Influential Growth, No Presence, Nominal Influence, Wealthy Internet Savvy, and one outlier result (Sudan, adjustment explained in the annual report). These 50+ countries represent six billion of the world's population.
Represented by five countries with a total population of about 300 million; Russia, Cameroon, Romania, Congo, and Argentina. Their growth averaged 0.8% over last year. The average HDI is 0.620 (medium) with a per capita GDP of $6,948. Internet usage ranges from 1.2% to 67%. These are all countries where Christianity dominates. One might ask why the WTS is not doing better as their well-being profile (HDI) seems to be in the range where the WTS does well (life is hard but bearable).
Represented by eleven countries with a total population of 800 million; Brazil, Columbia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Peru, Phillippines, South Africa, and Venezuela. Their growth averaged from 2-6% over last year. I rate these as high-influence nations as the proportion of publisher to population is relatively low, averaging 1 per 387 population. The average HDI is 0.611 (medium) and the per capita GDP is $5,669. Internet usage ranges from 1.9% to 55.9%. These are mainly Christian countries, aside from Madagascar where more than half the population follows indigenous beliefs. You could say that for these countries, life is harder but bearable. According to these influencers, the WTS should be doing well.
Represented by nine countries with a total population of 1.6 billion, there are no publisher statistics at all. These countries are represented in grey "Other" in the chart above. These include Afghanistan, Algeria, China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Vietnam, and Yemen. There is not a single Christian nation amongst them, mostly Muslim. China is listed as non-religious, and Vietnam as Buddhist. This goes along with my theory that the WTS cannot make inroads in a nation without a prior Christian influence. Internet usage ranges from 5-53%. HDI is 0.594, with a GDP of $3,510. Life is really hard.
Represented by sixteen countries with a total population of 2.3 billion, there are publishers listed but their proportion by population is so low I count their influence on the people as nominal. The average publisher per population ratio is 1 in 78,000 population. You can see from the green wedge above, that they make up a very small proportion in these countries. The countries are Bangladesh, C'ote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tiawan, Tanzania, Thialand, Turkey, and Uganda. Percent increase ranged from 15% in Bangladesh to a decrease of 6% in Pakistan. Keep in mind, though, that these dramatic increases and decreases are against a small population. In Bangladesh, the increase was to 161 publshers from 140. The religious makeup is the full gamut from Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist. Internet use ranges from 1.1% to 61.7%, and the HDI of 0.568 and a GDP of $3,892. Muslim Malaysia breaks the mold with a higher HDI, GDP, and percentage internet users.
Wealthy Internet Savvy
And finally, a group we will be more familiar with, twelve countries with a total population of 943 million; Australia, Britain (UK), Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Spain, Ukraine, and the USA. Publisher per population ratio is pretty high, 1 in 390. Percent increase on average is 0.67% over last year. The HDI is 0.875 (very high), and GDP is $36,396. Internet usage ranges from 31% in the Ukraine (anomalous low) to 90% in Australia. Our profile, compared to the rest of the world, is fat and happy. All are Christian other than Japan (non-religious) and South Korea (some Bhuddist and Confucian influence). It does appear that a healthy and happy population, with liberal access to the internet, is pretty immune to the WTS's charms.
Going through these results, I had a few ideas for the future.
I noted that most of the countries with influence and growth are non-English speaking. Might it be a growth area for the "apostate" community to sponsor a kick-ass Spanish speaking discussion board?
The future of the internet for a good part of the world must fit on a cell phone. Ludwick Marishane in impoverished Limpopo came up with a waterless bathing solution, doing google searches and applying for fuding all through the tiny screen on his cell phone. Cell phones are given away like candy in countries like India because marketers know that people will work to the bone to afford a plan and connect to the world.
I have all the data in Excel for those who want it:
I attempted to calculate the "churn". From the numbers, all you can calculate is the number of "irregulars" as they only publish peak, average and last year's average. I extracted crude death rate and calculated based on that the difference between peak and last year's average + baptisms - deaths. They should've published the low ends for last year (or this year) to make the calculation more accurate. But my guestimate is between 180k and 206k of 'irregulars'. (about 2%).
@jwfacts. Interesting to note pub averages are up just over 30 hours. Could this be due to the March special effort which links the memorial invitation drop to auxiliary pioneering with a reduced requirement of 30 hours. This has been well supported with least 40% of publishers participating the last couple of years if UK figures are a good rule of thumb.
One tribe of Israel filled: 12,604 Memorial Partakers
Over the past seven years, from 1974 to 1980 inclusive, Jehovah’s Witnesses have made steady progress. Their growth is healthy. Only as to Memorial partakers has there been a gradual decline, which is in accord with Scriptural expectations. Thus there is no doubt that Jehovah has been guiding his people unfailingly through Christ Jesus their leader. Observe the following graphic picture of the worldwide progress of Jehovah’s work on earth in these last days.
1981 Yearbook, pages 31,32
. . . for then they shall know the scripures don't tell the truth.