Research: United Methodist Clergy Age Trends
Highlights of the 2010 Report
Average Age of United Methodist Clergy Reaches a Historic High
The Percentage of Middle Age Elders Shrank Dramatically Since 2000
- For the first time ever, just over half of active elders are between age 55 and 72.
- The median age of elders is 55, the highest in history, up from 50 in 2000 and 45 in 1973.
- As expected, the total number of clergy retirements went down dramatically in 2009 because of the economic downturn (811 compared to 1,113 in 2008).
- Even with fewer retirements in 2009, the average retirement age still went down by half a year to 64 in 2009.
The Number of Young United Methodist Clergy Grew in the Past Decade
- The percentage of elders aged 35 to 54 continues to shrink, from 65 percent of all active elders in 2000 to 45 percent in 2010.
- There are more young elders, deacons, and local pastors than ten years ago.
- While fewer in number than young elders, young deacons and local pastors are growing in number faster than young elders.
- In 1985 there were 24 young elders for every one young local pastor. In 2010 there are just two young elders for every young local pastor.
Download a PDF of the report.