16 million members with 30,000 Wards (& Branches) = 533 members/Ward (& Branch)
16 million members with 23,000 Wards = 696 members/Ward
An outsider to the Church would therefore think that these numbers are impressive; however a Ward maxes out around 300 members/Ward and are determined by the number of Elders (an office in the Church, not an age designation) which maxes out at 96/Ward. This means that the average Ward has more than double their intended max membership. Having gone to many different Wards in my lifetime, I know that this cannot be accurate.
300 max members in 23,000 Wards = 6.9 million members!!!
7 million is less than 1/2 of the claimed membership. But it gets worse...
250 average members in 23,000 Wards = 5.75 million members!!!!
100 average active members in 23,000 Wards = 2.3 million members!!!
This is not just shocking, but it's horrifying. This is LESS than the total membership stat numbers for the State of Utah, which is 2.6 million members. The Church didn't even reach 2.3 million members in their statistical reports until 1965. No wonder the early prophets talked about a "great division" of the Church to occur in the future. The Parable of the 10 Virgins suggests that 50% membership would be lost, which is in reality now just 1 million members lost. Only 1 million members out of 7 Billion World Population. That's not even a tithe, though it may be a Widow's Mite. This truly is devastating news. It is said that when one continues to do the same thing, but expects to get different results, that that is the definition of insanity. It is clear that The LDS Church needs to do something drastically different in order to produce different results in their membership retention.