How Many Unitarian Universalists Are There? A Guide Into The UUA

The Unitarian Universalism religion is a religion that has many followers around the world. There are a lot of Unitarian Universalists throughout the world, but how many do you think there are in each country?

The purpose of this blog post is to explore that question in more detail. Taking a look at the top ten countries with the highest numbers of Unitarian Universalists, we will see how these numbers have changed over time and how they have fluctuated over the years. Additionally, we will discuss what might be causing the religion’s popularity in certain countries based on various factors. Let’s take a look at where Unitarian Universalism is most popular around the world, if you’re curious!

The Unitarian Universalist tradition is generally considered to be a liberal religion and its main characteristic is that it emphasizes “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning”. Unitarian Universalists do not claim to possess a creed, but rather are united by a search for spiritual growth guided by a dynamic, “living tradition”. At present, each of these traditions is summarized in a document known as the Six Sources and Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism, which has been accepted by all congregations that have chosen to become members of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Documents like these are considered “living” in the sense that they should always be reacquainted with and revised as needed. Atheists, agnostics, theists, and many others are welcome in Unitarian Universalist (U.U.) congregations around the world. This denomination has churches, fellowships, congregations, and societies throughout the world. In terms of its roots, Unitarian Universalism was developed in protestant liberal Christianity, specifically in the Unitarian Universalist movement. Among Unitarian Universalists, there is a strong sense of intellectual freedom and a love of inclusion that flows from these traditions. All major world religions can provide congregations and members with inspiration as well as insight.

It is important to realize that the beliefs of individual Unitarian Universalists vary considerably. They can range from humanism and Judaism to Christianity, Islam, the Hindu religion, Sikhism, Buddhism, Taoism, syncretism, Omnism, Neopaganism, atheism, agnosticism, pantheism, panentheism, pandeism, deism, and teachings of the Baha’i faith.

In 1961, the American Unitarian Association (AUA) and the Universalist Church of America (UCA) came together to form the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), formed from the merger of the American Unitarian Association, established in 1825, and the Universalist Church of America, established in 1793. A large portion of the UUA’s membership is found in the United States and its headquarters is in Boston, Massachusetts. Among the 35 congregations affiliated with the United Utilities Association, there is one congregation with a sole membership. A new organization called the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) assumed its independence in 2002. Together with the UUA, the CUC is one of the seventeen members of ICUU – the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists.

Directory Year Churches Membership RE Enrollments Membership & RE Enrollments Combined
1961 1,035 151,557 77,546 229,103
1962 1,069 154,617 82,547 237,164
1963 1,094 164,474 87,927 252,401
1964 1,103 167,892 89,496 257,388
1965 1,108 172,659 91,574 264,233
1966 1,119 174,971 101,904 276,875
1967 1,129 176,850 104,201 281,051
1968 1,135 177,431 104,876 282,307
1969 1,076 167,825 97,583 265,408
1970 1,038 164,270 73,866 238,136
1971 1,025 162,645 60,131 222,776
1972 1,019 154,270 55,897 210,167
1973 1,011 153,750 51,655 205,405
1974 1,007 150,313 48,825 199,138
1975 1,004 149,610 45,814 195,424
1976 1,001 147,380 43,789 191,169
1977 1,000 144,832 41,321 186,153
1978 991 141,165 38,806 179,971
1979 988 139,052 37,300 176,352
1980 989 136,192 37,114 173,306
1981 991 136,760 36,699 173,459
1982 999 135,487 36,122 171,609
1983 1,005 137,055 38,178 175,233
1984 1,010 138,110 38,588 176,698
1985 1,012 139,227 39,009 178,236
1986 1,013 139,531 40,181 179,712
1987 1,006 139,859 42,058 181,917
1988 1,010 140,788 48,161 188,949
1989 1,010 142,864 50,228 193,092
1991-92 1,029 143,383 52,417 195,800
1992-93 1,037 139,157 54,796 193,953
1993-94 142,157 N/A 1,242
1994-95 1,036 147,940 54,796 202,736
1995-96 1,039 150,413 58,716 209,129
1996-97 1,034 151,213 60,384 211,597
1997-98 1,033 152,447 60,895 213,342
1999-00 1,043 154,459 61,165 215,624
2000-01 1,051 155,449 61,482 216,931
2001-02 1,054 156,968 61,436 218,404
2002-03 1,055 158,607 63,080 221,687
2003 1,044 156,525 62,848 219,373
2004 1,039 157,289 61,722 219,011
2005 1,042 157,299 60,004 217,303
2006 1,042 158,986 59,120 218,106
2007 1,044 162,196 57,220 219,416
2008 1,050 163,932 57,650 221,582
2009 1,048 164,684 56,683 221,367
2010 1,048 164,196 55,846 220,042
2011 1,046 162,796 54,671 217,467
2012 1,054 161,502 53,776 215,278
2013 1,048 159,987 52,369 212,356
2014 1,047 158,186 49,991 208,177
2015 1,043 156,620 47,623 204,243
2016 1,038 154,965 44,885 199,850
2017 1036 153,574 43,291 196,865
2018 1035 154,790 40,862 195,562
2019 1029 154,704 38,116 192,820
2020 1027 152,921 34,768 187,689

Source: Unitarian Universalist Association

History of Unitarian Universalism: A Brief Overview

Unitarianism is a religious movement that originated in America during the Protestant Reformation during the sixteenth century. During that time period, there were a variety of Christian denominations vying for supremacy, and some Christians were deciding not to join the Catholic Church and forming their own independent churches instead. It should be noted that among these dissident members were a group called “Unitarians,” who held that there was only one God, in contrast to the three persons believed to exist by the Catholics. These early Unitarians believed that for them, there was only one God and no other God.

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There was an evolution and change in the Unitarian movement as time went on. It eventually merged with another liberal Christian denomination in America called Universalism, which was itself a liberal Christian denomination. Among Universalists, there is a strong belief that “humanity has a basic goodness” and that, as a result, all human beings will ultimately be saved from damnation. As a result of the coming together of these two groups in 1961, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) was formally organized.

Approximately 1.2 million Unitarian Universalists live in North America today and there are approximately 4500 congregations spread across the country. We do not have an equal distribution of our number among all fifty states, however. UU congregations can be found in large numbers in some states, while they can be found in small numbers in other states. For instance, Massachusetts has over 200 UU congregations, whereas Alaska only has four UU congregations.

The Unitarian Universalist Faith and Beliefs

It is important to understand that Unitarian Universalists adhere to seven principles that guide them in their journey of faith:

1. Each and every one of us is born with intrinsic worth and dignity
2. Keeping human relations just, fair and compassionate is one of the most important values in life
3. Providing an environment where all are accepted and encouraged to grow spiritually in our congregations is a top priority
4. Searching for truth and meaning in a free and responsible manner is what we are about
5. As a congregation and as a society at large, churches embrace the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process as a means of addressing social issues
6. In order for a harmonious world community to exist, all people should live in peace, freedom, and justice
7. A respect for the interdependence of all existence and the fact that we are all part of the same web of life

Unitarian Universalism: A Look at Its Structure

Unitarian Universalists hold to seven principles, as stated above.
These principles are not a creed or set doctrine, but rather a guide for living a life that promotes justice, equity, and compassion. They are based on religious tradition as well as on reason and experience, and they are constantly evolving as we learn more about ourselves and the world around us.

Unitarian Universalism’s Tenents: What They Are

According to the Unitarian Universalists, their ethical and moral decision-making is guided by seven principles as a guide. They are:
# The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
# Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
# Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
# A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
# The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
# The goal of the world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
# Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

How Many Unitarian Universalists Are There In The World?

The number of Unitarian Universalists in the world is estimated to be around 6 million. There are an estimated 4.1 million Unitarian Universalists in the United States, making them the largest religious group in the country. Besides Canada (120,000 people), the United Kingdom (65,000 people), and Australia (40,000 people), there are other countries with large Unitarian Universalist populations.

United States

United States has about a quarter of a million Unitarian Universalists out of a total of around 30,000. A large number of UUs (60%) live in the Northern part of the country, followed by 20% in the Midwest, 12% in the South, and 8% in the Western part.

According to statistics, roughly half of all UUs identify themselves as political liberals, while one-quarter identify as political conservatives. UUs have a variety of religious affiliations. Three percent were raised Catholic, 21% Protestant, 19% secular/humanistic/agnostic, and 4% were raised Jewish. Only a small percentage of the population identify as Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or other religious groups.

Canada

According to the United Church of Canada, there are approximately 3,800 Unitarian Universalists in Canada as of 2016. As many as 84 percent of UUs (Utilitarians United) live in just three provinces: Ontario (44%), Quebec (28%), and British Columbia (12%).

UU congregations are currently accredited in four provinces across Canada: Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. AUT is accredited in four provinces across Canada. Toronto was the first city in Canada to establish a congregation of UUs in 1842.

Australia

The number of Unitarian Universalists living in Australia is estimated to be about 1,200 as of 2016. Sydney is the capital city of Australia, and there are a significant number of UUs living there, while Melbourne and Brisbane have smaller concentrations of UUs.

The first European settlers to Australia brought UUism with them when they arrived in the early 19th century with the arrival of British settlers. Over the course of the next few decades, a few other UU congregations were formed across the country and over the next few decades, the first congregation was founded in 1839. In spite of this, the growth of the religious group was slow and in the last quarter of the 19th century, there were only around 200 Unitarians in Australia.

UUism has experienced a large increase in numbers in Australia over the course of the 20th century, largely due to immigration from other countries where the UUism has been established for a longer period of time. Currently, there are UU congregations in almost all major cities and towns in Australia, as well as a growing number in rural areas.

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United Kingdom

A total of 32 countries are represented in the International Council of Unitarian and Universalist Churches, out of the 52 countries represented in the council. It is estimated that 1,500 Unitarian Universalists live in the United Kingdom, which is one of these countries with many Unitarian Universalists. The term “Unitarian” was first used in 1673 by Emmanual College, Cambridge (UK), when a group of students opposed the doctrine of the Trinity and declared themselves throughout the University that the term should be a living term. The lectures which William Ellery Channing gave at Liverpool (UK) in 1825, known as Unitarian Christianity, were compiled as a series of lectures that were published in that same year. After these lectures were given in 1842, several churches were formed in Britain and Unitarianism began to grow in popularity, including the first British Unitarian Church in Manchester. As a result of a merger with the Universalists in 1928, the British Unitarians and Free Christians formed the General Assembly of Unitarians and Free Christians.

The International Council of Unitarian and Universalist Churches in the United Kingdom is currently made up of 14 member churches, which include:

-Aberdeen & North East Scotland UU Church
-BirminghamUU
-Brighton & Hove UU Fellowship
-Bristol Fellowship of Unitarians and Free Christians
-Dorset Area Group UU Meeting
-Edinburgh Alternative Worship Community
-Glasgow University Chapel & Glasgow Tolerance Society
-Isle of Lewis UU Society
-Leeds UU History Group & Leeds Westland UU Congregation
-Liverpool UU
-Manchester UU Society
-Norwich UU Fellowship
-Scottish Unitarian Association
-Sheffield & District UU History Group & Sheffield & District Free Church Council
-Unitarian Chapel, Essex Street, London

New Zealand

A country with a population of a little over 4.5 million people, New Zealand occupies one of the smallest positions in the Unitarian Universalist Association with a population of just over 4.5 million people. It has been estimated that there are around 300 Unitarian Universalists in New Zealand, which translates to 1 Unitarian Universalist for every 15,000 people in the country. There are approximately one million Unitarian Universalists in New Zealand, with the majority of them living in the North Island, where Wellington (the capital city) is home to the largest congregation in the country. There are also a significant number of UUs located in Auckland, Christchurch, as well as Dunedin.

Although New Zealand may only be small in size, UUism has a long history in the country dating back to 1869 when the first congregation was founded there in Dunedin, despite its small size. It has been a matter of active participation in the work for social justice and environmental sustainability that the New Zealand Association of Unitarians and Universalists has been doing in recent years. By the year 2030, New Zealand aims to become a carbon-neutral country by launching an ambitious project called “100% Possible”, according to which a carbon-neutral country will be the norm.

Ireland

It is estimated that there are around 1,500 Unitarian Universalists living in Ireland. A great deal of UUs in Ireland are concentrated in the Dublin area, where there is a huge concentration of them.

During the late 18th century, a small group of English unitarians settled in Cork, which makes it the first recorded Unitarian presence in Ireland, dating back to the late 18th century. These unitarians created Cork Unitarian Society in 1793, with the intention of strengthening their community. Until the 1840s, the society was small and largely unknown until it began to grow rapidly in the next few decades. Over 100 members were a part of the society when it was established in 1848.

The second congregation of Unitarians in Dublin was established in 1867, on the same date. It was not long before this congregation became the largest and most influential in Ireland at the time. I believe that it continues to be a very important part of the Irish Unitarian movement even today.

During the course of Irish history, there has always been a strong connection between the Irish Unitarian movement and the broader liberal tradition. In addition to their involvement in the Irish Unitarian Association, many of the founding members of the group were also involved in other liberal causes, such as women’s rights and civil rights.

As of today, there are six Unitarian congregations in Ireland: three in Dublin, one in Cork, one in Belfast, and one in Derry. As part of the Irish Unitarian Association, there is also a youth group that organizes regular events and activities for young people across the country, as part of its active youth group.

South Africa

Approximately 1,000 Unitarian Universalists are reported to live in South Africa, according to the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). There is an international office for the Unitarian Universalist Association located in Johannesburg.

Founded in Cape Town in 1824, the Unitarian Universalist Church is the first ever recorded Unitarian Universalist community in South Africa. Cape Town Society for Mutual Aid and Religious Debate was founded by a small group of English and Scottish immigrants during the late nineteenth century. An American group of missionaries soon joined them and soon they were joined by other Christians.

There were lots of groups that began to form in different parts of the country by the early 1900s. Generally, these groups were made up of white, middle class, and upper class people. As early as 1931, the first black Unitarian Universalist group was organized in the Durban area.

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South Africa has seen a steady increase in Unitarian Universalism since 1994, when apartheid was lifted out of the country. As of now, there are more than 30 congregations across the country, where people of all races and cultures are present.

Ghana

Ghana has a population of about 1,600 Unitarian Universalists, according to estimates. Most of them are members of the Ghana Unitarian Council, which was founded in 1950 and is the world’s second oldest unitarian denomination. Also, there are a few UUs who are not affiliated with the GUC, as well as some UUs who are close to it.

There is a long history of UUism in Ghana, which started in the early 20th century, when an Akan Christian group started studying the works of John Murray, a Scottish minister who is regarded as the founder of Unitarianism. He was attracted by the fact that he believed in the Trinity and emphasized social justice as important aspects of his beliefs. The popularity of UUism has grown in recent years, in part due to the work of GUC, which began in the early 1980s.

In addition to its outreach programs, the GUC also maintains a website that promotes UU values and principles to the world. As part of its mission, the UU Church of Ghana also offers support to UU churches and groups throughout the country.

Uganda

The country of Uganda is located in East Africa and is a landlocked country. To the east, Kenya borders the country, the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and the South Sudan to the north. To the south, Tanzania borders the country, and to the southwest, Rwanda borders the country. Lake Victoria, which is shared by Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, is located in the southern part of the country, which is part of Uganda’s Lake Victoria. This country is located in the region of the African Great Lakes. Also, Uganda is located within the Nile basin, with a variety of weather conditions, but generally with a modified equatorial climate.

According to the United Nations, Uganda has a population of 38 million, making it the 31st most populated country in the world by number of people. There were 96 to 4% of Ugandans who were from ethnic groups other than Ugandans in 2010, most of whom were Arabs, Asians, and Europeans in proportion to the number of Ugandans. Among these four groups of people, the Bagandas comprise 18%, the Banyankoles 9%, the Basogas 8%, and the Bakigas 6% of the general population. Despite the fact that English and Swahili are Uganda’s official languages, Luganda, the language of the Baganda people may also be spoken widely.

In 2015, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) reported there were 20 congregations that were members of the UUA in Uganda.

Other Countries with Unitarian Universalists

There are Unitarian Universalists in many countries around the world, including:

Australia: The Australian Unitarian Association has about 400 members and is part of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists.

Brazil: The União Brasileira de Cultos Unitários e Universais (UBCUU) was founded in 1961 and has over 1,000 members.

Canada: The Canadian Unitarian Council represents 44 congregations with over 8,000 members.

Denmark: There are several Danish Unitarian congregations with a total of about 1,000 members.

Finland: The Finnish Association of Unitarian and Universalist Churches has about 500 members.

France: The Mouvement unitarien universaliste français was founded in 1963 and has about 1,500 members in 30 congregations.

Germany: There are around 3,000 Unitarian Universalists in Germany belonging to 13 different congregations.

Hungary: The first Hungarian Unitarian congregation was founded in 1568 and today there are over 5,000 Hungarians practicing this faith.
The Netherlands: In addition to numerous small groups, there are three main Dutch Unitarian organizations with a combined membership of about 600 people.
New Zealand: There are several hundred New Zealanders who identify as Unitarian Universalists spread out across the country.

Poland: Although official records show that there were alreadyUnitarians

What the future holds for Unitarian Universalism

The Unitarian Universalist community is estimated to have 6 million members around the world. There are over 1.1 million Unitarian Universalists living in the United States, where they make up the vast majority of them. Besides the United States, Canada, Brazil, and the Philippines are also countries where Unitarian Universalists are in great numbers.

There is no doubt that Unitarian Universalism is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Over the last 20 years, the number of Unitarian Universalists in the United States has doubled. Over the past 40 years, unitarian universalist numbers have quadrupled in terms of their number all over the world.

There seems to be a bright future for Unitarian Universalism in the near future. The number of people who are converting to this religion in the United States as well as around the world is growing every year. There is no doubt that the faith will continue to grow and prosper as more and more people join it.

Final thought

According to an estimate, there are 1.2 million Unitarian Universalists living in the world, with most living in the United States, which has the most Unitarian Universalists. Although there are active UU communities in a number of countries around the world, many of which include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and a number of European countries as well. Wherever you are in the world, you can most likely find a group of people who share the same values and beliefs as you, no matter where you are located.

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