MLS exmormons and statistics

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
falisrm-p40
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MLS exmormons and statistics

Postby falisrm-p40 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:30 pm

I'm hoping someone might know the answer to this one. Lots of exmormons are telling people that 10,000's of thousands are leaving the church every year by taking their names off the records.

MLS has this figured into the system already for excommunicated and those who take their names off the records and those who died.

In the yearly general statistics the church already factors in those people who have either died, were excommunicated or took their names off the records because that is the only way MLS will take your name off the records. in 2007 it was 47,575 people. I'm assuming most of those are those to have died.

Is this an accurate description of what is going on. I bring this up because its a huge discussion all the time in member and non member forums.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:43 pm

falisrm wrote:I'm hoping someone might know the answer to this one. Lots of exmormons are telling people that 10,000's of thousands are leaving the church every year by taking their names off the records.

MLS has this figured into the system already for excommunicated and those who take their names off the records and those who died.

In the yearly general statistics the church already factors in those people who have either died, were excommunicated or took their names off the records because that is the only way MLS will take your name off the records. in 2007 it was 47,575 people. I'm assuming most of those are those to have died.

Is this an accurate description of what is going on. I bring this up because its a huge discussion all the time in member and non member forums.


I doubt that anyone here will be qualified or authorized to answer your question. The Church doesn't break down the annual reduction in members. Anyone can calculate that reduction by examining the annual Statistical Report and taking the increase in total membership (in 2007 this was 13,193,999 - 12,868,606 or 325,393), and comparing that with the total additions (93,698 children of record + 279,218 converts = 372,916) to get a difference of 47,523.

But how does that 47,523 break down into deaths, excommunications, and name removals? That is not published and I doubt it will ever be published. One way to look at is assuming that all 47,523 were deaths, which would be a death rate of 3.6 per 1000, when the US death rate is over 8 per 1000. I assume the Church membership is somewhat younger than the population at large, so I'd expect a smaller death rate, but a huge proportion of the 47,000 must be deaths. If not, the LDS death rate (which is already far less than average) would be so low as to defy reason.

In any case, given no hard figures, we can assume most of the 47,000 are deaths, and the antis can assume that most of them are leaving the Church, or that the Church is fudging the numbers anyway. So neither side has hard figures to support their position. So I don't see much point in the discussion (even though I like to play with numbers, so I did some research based on the hard numbers).

Unfortunately, your question is not really an MLS question, but rather a Church statistical reporting question, which is not really the realm of this forum.

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Postby falisrm-p40 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:37 pm

IC, i just figured statistical reports are developed using the MLS since its already extremely accurate. The only thing it doesn't consider is if an inactive (long lost) member passes away and we just don't know about it until the MLS times them out at like 110 years old. I'm thinking thats why the death rate is so low with the 47,523 figure. I guess the figures wouldn't be known outside of the statistical department but i'm sure they keep track of the numbers.

I was just wondering if the MLS was designed to handle these statistics and the that 47,523 would include deaths, excommunicated and voluntarily removed members are apart of that number.

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Postby aebrown » Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:06 pm

falisrm wrote:IC, i just figured statistical reports are developed using the MLS since its already extremely accurate. The only thing it doesn't consider is if an inactive (long lost) member passes away and we just don't know about it until the MLS times them out at like 110 years old. I'm thinking thats why the death rate is so low with the 47,523 figure. I guess the figures wouldn't be known outside of the statistical department but i'm sure they keep track of the numbers.

I was just wondering if the MLS was designed to handle these statistics and the that 47,523 would include deaths, excommunicated and voluntarily removed members are apart of that number.


The 47,523 must include all events that cause the overall numbers to be reduced, because of the simple fact that the 47,523 number was calculated based on the overall numbers.

MLS is just one way that church units report statistics. I say "just one way" because there are plenty of units around the world that do not use MLS. So the reporting comes by various means for different units and areas, and eventually is aggregated at CHQ. Also, MLS does not report excommunications or name removals; that information is sent on other forms to CHQ, and once it is processed, the changes come to MLS from CHQ.

Does MLS accurately report all deaths? That is a question of how diligent and accurate tens of thousands of clerks are. By and large, I would think that they are pretty diligent and accurate, although no one would expect 100% accuracy. The other means of reporting are probably a bit less accurate, but again, I would think that we are talking accuracy well over 90% in those items that affect membership numbers.

Certainly there must be some "long lost" members who die and it takes a while to take their names off the records, but it eventually does get recorded. I doubt that that phenomenon accounts for the low death statistics, but it would be pure speculation how many people are on the official membership rolls but have died without their death being recorded.

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Postby falisrm-p40 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:50 pm

Thats true. and its really up to the wards and the members to update all of the information. We are trying to update everything and some wards are better then others. I think the system is set up amazingly well and MLS is the greatest idea ever. It'll be interesting to see some of the statistics.

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Postby lajackson » Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:53 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Does MLS accurately report all deaths? That is a question of how diligent and accurate tens of thousands of clerks are.


Exactly. If the clerks report them correctly, the statistics will be correct.

Back in the MIS days, I once called Salt Lake to get some information on a member who had died, although our ward did not have the membership record and did not know he was a member until the funeral home called. (Another interesting story for another time.)

I obtained the information I needed, then I asked if I should request the record through MIS or if SL would just send it to me so that I could record the death date. The good sister at CHQ said, "I will just update the death date from here."

After I confirmed that she had used the word "update", she went on to let me know that another ward had reported that this brother had died 10 years earlier.

I have always encouraged our clerks to be a little more accurate in their record keeping. [grin]

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Postby rmrichesjr » Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:32 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:...

But how does that 47,523 break down into deaths, excommunications, and name removals? ...
...


Don't forget translations. :-)

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:05 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:I assume the Church membership is somewhat younger than the population at large


Why would you say that? That's certainly one way to explain the low death rate, but I can't think of any reasons that the church's average age is lower then the general population.

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Postby aebrown » Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:07 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Why would you say that? That's certainly one way to explain the low death rate, but I can't think of any reasons that the church's average age is lower then the general population.


Well, for starters, we have a lot more children in our familiies than average. That seems reason enough for my assumption.

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:22 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Well, for starters, we have a lot more children in our familiies than average. That seems reason enough for my assumption.


That could do it. OTOH, don't we live longer then average?


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