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Masonic Membership over the Past Century

Hopefully you have read the latest 2019 Annual report, which shows Freemasonry in California is poised for growth again, for the first time in 53 years of decline.


Below are a few of the highlights and some historical perspective.

“Membership in 2019 was nearly flat at 46,443. Compared with 53 years of contraction, that counts as a big deal. And a closer look at the numbers shows that the generation-long downward trends are petering out.
Last year, 40 percent of lodges initiated more Entered Apprentices than they did the year prior. Three of the nine divisions gained members. A quarter of all lodges stayed flat or gained members. That remained true regardless of geography.”

The Total number of Freemasons in California for 2019 was 46,443 across 335 Lodges. In 2019,  2,886 Entered Apprentices were made, 865 Fellow Crafts. There were also  23 new Lodged Chartered in the past 3 years since 2016.

I recently ran across a historical book, published in 1918 by the Oakland Lodge No. 188 for its 50th Anniversary. There were quite a few interesting parallels, verticals and horizontals, between today, and yesteryear.

An interesting fact of note, Texas Lodge Membership has not really changed from 1918 to 2019. Below is our current membership report summary showing 53 Master Masons, and in the second line details that in 1918 Texas Lodge no.46 had 54 a difference of a Single Member, Master Mason. 

2019 vs. 1918 Growth:

As we look at the total number of Masons in California, we see 63,979 (1918) vs. 46,443 (2019) a decline of 17,536 members.

While the total  number of Masons has decreased in the past century, I believe the benefits of Masonry and the desire to connect face to face is more critical now than ever before. For me, it boils down to  quality of connection, vs. a frequency of communication.

There is nothing more elemental to the human experience, than the desire to connect with others, and not travel throughout this journey of life, alone.