JW.org statistics and the decline in first world countries.

by OneEyedJoe 18 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • kaik

    One reason behind decline of JW in industrial world is demographic. Wealthy countries had aged and there is less possible chance for middle age person to join a religious organization. JWs had tremendous growth there in postwar era coinciding with babyboom that lasted till 1960's. Once this wave aged in, there is very low probability to recruit new members outside your family. Second issue is increasing communication and education reach, which makes the indoctrination too difficult. And lastly, industrial countries do not base their national and personal identity on religion anymore with an exception of Bible Belt and couple extremes. In 3rd world countries, religion makes a significant part of personal identity, even more than professional life. Countries in Africa are heaven for various extremists basing their crazy ideology on religion. This would not work anymore anywhere in 1st and 2nd world (newly industrialized countries), as majority people would reject such nonsense.

    Similar trends are happening in countries which are middle income like Poland, Czech Republic, where religion is not playing anymore any role. 25 years ago, JW experienced significant growth, but this had leveled off and went to slow decline. As more countries wil get prosperous, JW and other crazy groups will experience decline. Even Mormons, 7DA did not experienced extensive growth as they had hoped 25 years ago and most of them had abandoned Eastern Europe all together. The biggest exporter of various crazy religion in past 200 years is USA where most of the new religions materialized in modern era. However, outside they cannot make much difference on the world stage except in deeply impoverished countries.

  • factfinder

    OneEyedJoe- I don't even know who is still in the English cong that I knew, but you may be right. Two congs both with shrinking attendance replaced by one decent sized cong.

    Still I wonder if anyone was concerned when the consoladation took place. I remember when the cong first had to split because it had grown too big. I'm sure though that many from back then have died, left the org, or moved away.

    With around 100,000 people in this town you'd think there would be more witnesses. I have not seen any jws going door to door across the street ever in the nearly 27 years living here and it has been many years since I saw any on my side of the street.

  • TheOldHippie

    "Decline in real numbers must be seen as a fact, and future decline, I predict, will accelerate."

    Funny how that line has been repeated over and over again ever since around 1978, but still the numbers are growing .

    Kaik, your comments are worth reading for all those commenting on decline or growth in individual countries. Japan has an ageing population, I even think it is declining, and therefore it is not to be expected that a growth should take place. Poland, Lithuania, Roumania and other countries see the young people leave the country and set out for Western Europe, and so the remaining population is ageing and declining. In some of the Northwestern European countries, the especially Polish immigrants constitute aroung 7-8-9-10 per cent of the JWs.

    So in stead of quickly and easily looking at the figures for Poland and shouting out that "Look! There is decline in the number of Polish JWs!", you would have to add the members of the Polish-speaking congregations throughout Europe as well as the ones being in the "native speaking" congregations.

    Statistics is becoming more and more tricky with this damned open world - it was easier when there were walls dividing us

  • yadda yadda 2
    yadda yadda 2

    That's roughly 1 for every 6 people in the US. if only a tiny fraction of those googled jw.org, there would've been a HUGE spike in august. There was a tiny spike, but it was barely more than the spike caused by the AGM and release of the new bible, and less than the spike at the beginning of 2013. Both of those spikes were probably caused almost exclusively by JWs themselves, so it stands to reason that the august numbers probably included effectively zero interested non-believers.

    Excellent! There's going to be some banging of canes on the GB boardroom table over this.

  • TheOldHippie

    I found a 50 % increase from June to August in "jw.org" when I did the search you started the thread with ...............

  • Vidiot

    So the JW.org "launch" hype didn't actually cause genuine membership increase; it just psyched up the R&F for a bit?

  • kaik

    OldHippie. I was born country just south of Poland and seen how JW and other religious organizations had declined over 25 years. Even Poland is less religious than used to be and generation ago. There were three decennial census since 1989 then when religious affiliation is tracked down and overall population had not changed a bit in the term of demographic size. Aging in Eastern Europe is fact that started in 1960's or 1970s (depending on country) and has not much to do with emigration than internal social policies. After 1968 Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, more people left than did 2004 when CZ and Slovakia became a member of EU. In 1990-1994 JWs peaked in numbers and been receding ever since. Even in Poland and Romania. Again, I do not see your point. In 1991 a convention in Prague attracted 100,000 people. You will never make the same number today. Eastern block is getting more affluent and some countries like Slovenia, Estonia, and Czech Republic are wealthier than some older EU members. The increased wealth and general liberal social politics had undermined JW growth.

    Again I am standing that increased industrialization, social and cultural liberalism, and higher mobility and communication ate JW growth in middle income countries and they are lost to WT the same way as is in established industrial states.

  • OneEyedJoe

    TOH - the main link I gave shows global data. There was indeed a spike in August, but it came entirely from the 3rd world. If you click on a country on the map below, you'll see data for only that country. That's where you'll see that interest in jw.org has plateaued in "western" countries.

  • Pookigirle

    I work in the film industry (a bit) and I went to a symposium a few months back. This symposium was all about technology and the newest ways of getting film produced outside of the tradition theatre. What I found most interesting that correlates to this conversation is that one director had just gotten back from Ghana. He said, "These people are very very poor. Some, so much so that they live in huts. Yet, what I found simply amazing was that EVERY individual has a cell phone! They all have a means to the internet. They all have a connection to the world." Of course, he went on to describe the future of movie production via sources for the cell phones ---- but reading thru these comments I started to think...........the brothers are slick!! They realize the potential of the 3rd world getting to their site. Perhaps they have a "hidden" agenda (who would guess that, huh?). But I thought that interesting with this thread.

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