Thursday, October 15, 2009

2008: The Numbers

After a not particularly illuminating PR dance between KJS and Frank Lockwood, the 2008 stats have been released. See churchwide totals for 2004-2008 and breakdown by diocese for 2007 and 2008 if you like your numbers numeric; you can get graphs on individual parishes here, but they don't show specific numbers and the scale for ASA is too small.

Looking through the last shows a number of cases where the graph shows unchanged numbers for some years. A bit further investigation shows that, at least in some cases, the reason of these reports is that the parish no longer exists, generally because they've split off; the diocese apparently has simply repeated the parochial numbers from the last year before the split. These phantom parishes, if recorded accurately, would surely noticeably increase the reported rate of decline.

And that decline continues as before: membership is down 3% and ASA is down 3%, values which have obtained ever since Robinson's election and consecration. More noteworthy is that, after years of increases, P&P is also down. Moving on to the diocesan figures, the big story is the departure of over 75% of the Diocese of San Joaquin. The other three departing dioceses hadn't left in 2008, but next year's number will no doubt show substantial losses for those as well, not to mention the possibility the South Carolina and perhaps others may call it quits on ECUSA. ASA numbers are as usual quite depressing, with the only large increases being either foreign (see Haiti, the largest ECUSA diocese BTW) or tiny (Navaholand's 5.3% increase sounds good until you realize that the diocese's total ASA is about the same as the ASA of three median parishes), excepting a few southeastern cases.

Thus, the seemingly relentless decline continues: three percent a year, every year, since 2003, after a decade of stable numbers.

No comments: