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A survey of Baha’i global distribution statistics from the time of their first appearance in 1925 up to 1949. No official data for actual Baha’i populations was published at that time, and we have to rely on lists of local Baha’i councils (“spiritual assemblies”) and of places where Baha’is resided to get some sense of Baha’i distribution dynamics. Even this limited data enable us to describe a pattern of overall growth, from a presence in twenty-nine countries and territories in 1925 to ninety-two in 1949, from at least 573 localities worldwide in which Baha’is resided in 1928 to 2,315 by 1949, and 102 local spiritual assemblies in 1928 to 595 in 1949. Regional differences in distribution are discussed. The data shows a significant increase in distribution during this period but there is no evidence for any major corresponding increase in Baha’i numbers, such as began to occur from the mid-1950s onwards.
Citation: Smith, P. (2015), The Baha’i Faith: Distribution Statistics, 1925–1949. J Relig Hist, 39: 352–369. doi:10.1111/1467-9809.12207