2017 Yearbook released
Just a quick note on berrygerry's table of growth in Western countries a few pages earlier, the av publishers for Japan should be 2015: 214,523, 2016: 213,818. (ie berrygerry appears to have made a transpose error) Japan actually had a decrease of 705, not an increase of 355.
That would bring the total increase down from 6563 to 5503.
Also, if it was me, I wouldn't include Barbados or Bermuda in that list. I would argue it more appropriate to include South Korea instead. (South Korea had a decrease from 99,950 to 99,724.)
All the same, well done, berrygerry.
Other points I don't think anyone has noticed yet:
1.Virtually every country in eastern Europe (including Balkan states, Baltic states, Russia etc) had a decline.
2. Philippines was one of the few major countries outside of Africa with high growth. That seems to have stopped abruptly.
SBF, I have always appreciated your analyses on the organization's annual reports - and your comments on the 2016 Service Year are no exception. Your comments about number of congregations being a better indicator of growth and/or decline than average or peak publishers or other variables are well argued.
Like you, I wonder about the negative impact on morale of the discontinuation of the (paid) Special Pioneer role. Those who devoted their lives to this role have a huge adjustment to make; it would be nigh impossible to keep the same hours and need to support oneself financially as well. Spevial pioneers were often at the forefront of preaching in their congregations and the stopping of the role will inadvertently ensure the malaise afflcting congregations in the West will almost certainly continue and likely gather pace.
wifi bandit very interesting to see visually that Africa and South America account for most of the growth.
India also sticks out but there are relatively few JWs there.
It’s mainly good news isn’t it?
The Congo is in a shambles with the threat of another civil war. President Kabila has finished his term of office but won’t leave power. He has his own army to defend him and clearly the population live in trepidation of the dire consequences of war. It is the ideal situation for JW propaganda to proliferate and without the internet to mediate and give the other side to Watchtower coin.
Brazil is a land where families are large and start young, hence poor education and consequent poverty on to which JW hopes are foisted but the country has a growing economy. Have the new ones got the internet yet?
The figures indicate overall that the influence of the JW religion has peaked. They are still at the crest of membership numbers, mainly sustained by baptisms of JW children. This is tenable so long as the young ones are kept deaf and blind to information.
The field service no longer works in man-hour terms the West. (Commercially it would be costing $225,000 at $15 per hour to make a new worldly convert in d2d preaching). It has been reduced to a mere obligatory ritual.
Secular, post–religious reality is making ground in the Western ethos where middle class wealth or social welfare act as a safety net denying the need for organised religion of the paranoid JW brand.
From the 2015 to 2016 Service Years there was an increase of average publishers reporting of 145,079.
Which countries had the highest increase (and decrease) in the average number of publishers reporting between 2015 and 2016?....
The Top 10 Gainers were: Congo DR; Brazil; Mexico; Zambia; Angola; Malawi; Venezuela; Ghana; Ecuador; and Nigeria.
And just missing out on a Top Ten place was USA which was in 11th place
The Bottom 10 Losers were: Russia; Poland; Ukraine; Japan; Cuba; Hungary; Puerto Rico; Jamaica; Republic of Korea; and Romania.
And just missing out on a Bottom Ten place was Canada which was in 11th place
Here are the charts - link to original full-size
SBF, thanks for the analysis re: congregations. It's insightful and well thought out. If there's real substance to it, then it has all the more import if the experience reported here has repeated itself in other places:
This is interesting about the Money Spent on Special Pioneers.
They had a 36% decrease in Special Pios - but only 10% decrease in funds needed.
Although the average number of publishers in the United States increased by 2,945, the total number of congregations declined by 23, down from 14,063 to 14,040. This looks like the beginning of decline to me.
Looking at the table of growing and declining countries, it's very easy to imagine that they could be in overall decline by next year. Remove the abnormal growth in Congo, and Brazil growth slows like Mexico has, and they could easily fall into overall decline in publishers.
But I wonder, if the figures next year show decline in the United States, and more countries declining than growing overall, will they still publish the numbers?
If decline becomes a persistent trend I am sure they will stop publishing numbers, at least in this form and detail. I just wonder how long and what level of declines it will take.
Looking at wifi's map of number baptized per congregation:
Azerbaijan has JW growth. Seriously?