Decline in Masonic Membership

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Sammcd, May 3, 2015.

  1. Sammcd

    Sammcd Premium Member

    Has there been any studies as to the rise in immorality and lack of friendship and brotherly love as Masonic membership has decreased.
  2. andymac1919

    andymac1919 Registered User

    Membership in my Lodge is actually on the rise. We have a degree every meeting ( one emergent and one regular a month) and more and more are in their 20s. I myself am 24.
  3. andymac1919

    andymac1919 Registered User

    Add some context here. Every meeting for the last 3 years. We have around 50 to 60 brothers out to a regular meeting and 40 or so to an emergant.
  4. Sammcd

    Sammcd Premium Member

    Glad to hear of your growth. My lodge is also in a growth Spurt at this time. My thoughts were more along the line of a correlation between a world wide decline in membership and what appears to me to be an increase in immorality and loss respect for our fellow man. May be no correlation at all.
  5. RyanC

    RyanC Registered User

    I don't think a rise in immorality is to blame for over all decrease of numbers(even though that is a interesting concept). As it is not just Freemasonry but all fraternities and social clubs that are losing members. The product of Freemasonry is great, but I think the package of it could use some work.
  6. NY.Light.II

    NY.Light.II Registered User

    Decline of morality? Morality defined by who/what? You? A particular religion? Morality is not universal across cultures. I am not saying we are or are not in decline, just something to keep in mind.
  7. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    Agreed. Maybe a lecture on Masonic history or another interesting Masonic topic instead of just a business meeting all of the time.
    RyanC and JJones like this.
  8. Classical

    Classical Premium Member

    My little lodge is growing!
  9. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

    I used to work in statistical data collection/analysis for the US Department of Commerce (Bureau of the Census). I also used to work in the gaming industry (statistical analysis).

    The science of human statistics is called "demographics". I do not believe that there is any statistical correlation between the decline of membership in the Masonic fraternity, to the general decline in "morality" in our society. The term is "causative factor".

    Nevertheless, Masonic membership is definetly declining. Here are the statistics for 2012-2013 (The latest year that data is available).

    U.S. Grand Lodges Membership
    ALABAMA 27,654 25,885 (1,769)
    ALASKA 1,820 1,797 (23)
    ARIZONA 8,000 7,812 (188)
    ARKANSAS 13,042 12,301 (741)
    CALIFORNIA 63,546 55,893 (7,653)
    COLORADO 8,885 9,311 426
    CONNECTICUT 11,778 10,576 (1,202)
    DELAWARE 4,910 4,843 (67)
    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 4,438 4,091 (347)
    FLORIDA 42,959 41,134 (1,825)
    GEORGIA 41,255 40,750 (505)
    HAWAII 1,778 1,787 9
    IDAHO* 3,670 3,567 (103)
    ILLINOIS 65,781 64,705 (1,076)
    INDIANA 60,449 58,363 (2,086)
    IOWA 20,203 19,338 (865)
    KANSAS 21,225 20,176 (1,049)
    KENTUCKY 43,658 42,019 (1,639)
    LOUISIANA 20,404 19,431 (973)
    MAINE 19,860 18,573 (1,287)
    MARYLAND 16,146 15,429 (717)
    MASSACHUSETTS 33,048 30,861 (2,187)
    MICHIGAN 34,686 32,997 (1,689)
    MINNESOTA 13,587 13,062 (525)
    MISSISSIPPI 18,063 17,565 (498)
    MISSOURI 45,850 42,274 (3,576)
    MONTANA* 5,565 5,401 (164)
    NEBRASKA 11,895 11,405 (490)
    NEVADA 4,163 4,085 (78)
    NEW HAMPSHIRE* 6,497 6,097 (400)
    NEW JERSEY 22,523 22,514 (9)
    NEW MEXICO 5,389 4,669 (720)
    NEW YORK 42,669 41,305 (1,364)
    NORTH CAROLINA 43,112 42,296 (816)
    NORTH DAKOTA 2,876 2,885 9
    OHIO 94,867 91,040 (3,827)
    OKLAHOMA 23,842 22,622 (1,220)
    OREGON 8,946 8,648 (298)
    PENNSYLVANIA 108,758 107,731 (1,027)
    RHODE ISLAND 3,573 3,444 (129)
    SOUTH CAROLINA* 37,810 36,689 (1,121)
    SOUTH DAKOTA* 5,471 5,654 183
    TENNESSEE* 40,926 39,943 (983)
    TEXAS 93,188 81,340 (11,848)
    UTAH 2,057 2,081 24
    VERMONT 5,855 5,708 (147)
    VIRGINIA 37,177 36,335 (842)
    WASHINGTON 15,450 14,774 (676)
    WEST VIRGINIA 20,808 20,251 (557)
    WISCONSIN 11,742 11,367 (375)
    WYOMING 3,579 3,417 (162)
    TOTALS 1,305,433 1,246,241 (59,192)
    *Revised 2012 figures===================

    These data are provided by the various Grand Lodges to the Masonic Service association. The methodology of collection by the various Grand Lodges is uneven, and not uniform across the entire USA. Nevertheless, the picture is bleak. Only about three Grand Lodges report an increase. Hawaii saw a net gain of 9 Masons.

    Of course some individual lodges are growing, no doubt. But the national trend is (for me) very scary. As the number of Masons declines, the number of lodges will follow the decline (Two lodges that I belonged to in the past have been forced to consolidate). And there are many states where men belong to multiple lodges. When these multiple members are deceased, the loss is felt in all of the lodges that they belonged to.

    What are masons/lodges/Grand Lodges doing to reverse the trend? I must say, in all candor, that I am unimpressed and disappointed in what I have seen. Far too many masons are not even convinced that there is a problem!!!

    Can the trend be reversed? I believe so. If 21st Century Masonry could appeal to 21st Century men, then we could get this craft back to growing again.
  10. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

    I would tend to believe that the decline of membership is weighted heavily in deaths followed by npd.

    We are taking in new members every year. We had three Master Mason degrees this year. We made 9 new MM and have others in progression. We are just not replacing the Deaths/NPD fast enough.

    Also, I believe freemasonry is competing with creature comforts that exploded after the 1950s up and through to the present day.

    Men with children can be occupied with sports year round. Practices after work, games on the weekend ... have more than one kid and they are both in sports? Traveling teams? Freemasonry may be the farthest thing on your mind IF you even know what Freemasonry is.
  11. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

    Perhaps the decline of Freemasonry is caused by too many Masons sitting around lamenting the decline of Freemasonry instead finding one thing they actually like about the Craft, studying it, and preparing a paper and presenting it to their Lodge. Just a thought.
    <end rant>
  12. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

    I have heard some say they want join because of divisions in the craft black/white , among others, but I think the decline may be just the wheat being separated from the chaff . We forget that we really don't make masons, they are or they are not, ceremony rarely can change that.
    dfreybur, MarkR and Warrior1256 like this.
  13. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    Age is an issue. A few years ago my 30th Council lost 10% of its membership by death over the Christmas break.

    And I think that the mystery and promise of Freemasonry, as seen by outsiders, is much greater than most new brethren experience. They wander around for a bit, watching fairly ordinary ritual, and then find something else to do.

    Lack of delivered value is a major issue for Freemasonry.
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  14. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    I think that both are good points.
  15. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    I look at it differently. The ritual can and does change men...but only those who are ready to be changed. We can and do make men into masons...but only those good men who are first prepared at heart. In my opinion, this is why we have criteria for membership in the first place. This is why it used to be hard to get in. A man will not benefit being brought to light unless he is truly prepared and worthy, otherwise you're just giving the secrets away to men who wont take them to heart.
  16. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

    That's exactly what I meant my brother I was offering a reason why we lose some after they are accepted into our ORDER. PEACE!!!
    JJones likes this.
  17. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    I see that now. I'm sorry that I misread your post, sleep has been scarce recently. :)

Share My Freemasonry