Missionary Safety

My heart goes out to the sister missionaries who were attacked in Durban. Having served in South Africa I know how dangerous and scary it can be at times.

I was reading an article on DeseretNews.com this morning. I found the last paragraph interesting:

A Deseret Morning News analysis in January showed that LDS missionaries are comparatively safe. The church has more than 50,000 missionaries around the world at any one time. The analysis found 25 missionaries were killed in the past seven years, and most of them died in accidents. Three were murdered.

Looking at those numbers, I can’t imagine a safer situation to be in at that age. I wonder what the mortality rate for non missionaries of the same age group are. I know most are quietly entering college and starting careers, but what about those who are not so quietly entering college, or those that may be involved in gangs, or those energetic youth out surfing, swimming, boating, rock climbing, etc. etc.

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2 thoughts on “Missionary Safety”

  1. Unfortunately, according to the “National Center for Health Statistics” the death rate for people between 15 and 24 in the USA for 2004 (there most current data) was 30 out of 100,000. So assuming that those 30 are evenly distributed amount each of the 9-year span it covers, then between 15 and 24 your chances of death would be .0033%, or .0066% over two years.

    So assuming that 50,000 people serve each year (as you supplies) for 7 years one would expect the church to have lost 23.1 missionaries at .0066% of 350,000 (a statically insignificant difference). As you point out 25 missionaries died, so you are unfortunately these Statistics do not seem to support a “you are safer on a mission” idea.

    However, on the flip side, I think it is important to note that this does not take into account that a large percentage of missionaries live and come from in third world countries. Those death rates are much higher in these countries. Therefore, this best-case scenario (your a missionary that come from and serve in the US) is not really 100% accurate. So the argument can still be made that you are safer on a mission at that age.

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