Thursday, November 11, 2021

‘Craft population drops below 900K’


For the first time since the nineteenth century, the number of regular Freemasons in the United States totals less than 900,000, according to the Masonic Service Association of North America’s 2020 data published this week.

The exact figure is said to be 898,433, albeit with several jurisdictions not reporting. In 1900, there were 851,970 Master Masons, according to the book Facts for Freemasons (1979) by Harold V.B. Voorhis of The American Lodge of Research.

Click here.

Bro. John Ruark, of The Masonic Roundtable, among other things, is a curious statistician when it comes to Masonic membership. This afternoon on Facebook, he shared that link to the MSANA’s new figures. The topic of discussion tonight on TMR will be membership retention.

But wait, there’s more!

The data come from the mainstream grand lodges, which vary in their counting methodologies. For example, Grand Lodge A might include Apprentices in its tabulation, while Grand Lodge B double counts dual memberships. And a Mason at labor in both of those grand jurisdictions is counted by both.

These new numbers do not include any Prince Hall Affiliation memberships. (In my experience, PHA Masons do not disclose such information.)

So, you can understand this 898K number probably is unduly high, being how it is not a snapshot of just individual Master Masons in good standing as of last year. Counts are missing from Alaska, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, but a look at their numbers from recent years strongly suggests their input for 2020 would not bolster the nationwide tally. Overall, the fraternity lost 61,417 since 2019.

I think you need to know this information. Too many of us pine for the four million myth that hasn’t been real since Eisenhower was president (if it was accurate then).

My lodge is doing well. Coming out of COVIDmania, we are poised to initiate a dozen petitioners in the coming weeks—all vetted, motivated, and ready to become real Freemasons. Statewide, the Grand Lodge of New York has thousands similarly in the queue. No gimmicks, no mass initiations, no tricks.

How’s by you?

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