There are more Jehovah's Witnesses in Portugal than there are Scientologists in the whole world

by cedars 83 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jeffro


    The only viable way to determine accurately how many active members there are is:

    Some of that data you suggest would be cumbersome to locate, and much (e.g. distinction between baptized and unbaptized 'publishers' per month) isn't made available at all.

  • Jeffro


    In answer to your question, yes - but you also need to provide numerical context by showing the absolute numbers next to the percentages.

    The graphs would be quite cluttered if the publisher numbers were also provided. Much of the audience of the forum has a general idea of numbers anyway.

    otherwise readers have no way of knowing whether the 50% increase say in 1956 (to conjure up an imaginary example) represents a relatively small increase (given the small total number for the previous year) or a significantly large numerical increase compared with the previous year.

    That's the case when there is only a very small sample size, but when percentages vary over a long period of time, there is a clear trend indicating a distinct decline in growth regardless of the specific numbers.

    Statistics for this kind of population are generally expected to have exponential growth, however JW growth rates are considerably below what they should be if growth had continued at a consistent exponential rate. For example, if JW growth from 1950 to 1965 had continued at the same exponential rate, by now there would be about 60 million JWs. But based on their growth rate from 1998 to the present, it may take them as long as 2025 to get to 10 million. (I have selected 1998 here because there is a notable change in the trend from that year onwards compared to the previous period.)

    The graph below compares actual (reported) growth with hypothetical growth based on trends from various periods, as indicated in the legend:

  • Jeffro

    The following graph uses a power trendline instead of exponentially based on natural logarithm. The curves are a slightly better fit for anomalies in the data such as those caused by the 1975 fiasco. However, it suggests poorer future growth based on growth in recent years, with 10 million 'active' JWs by about 2027.

  • steve2

    Jeffro, while some of your reasoning eludes me, I take my hat off to you. You are as dogged as SBF - and that is a compliment to both you and SBF .

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