According to the Children of God, there were 130 communes or "colonies" in 15 countries in 1972. In 1993, 7,000 of the 10,000 members were under 18 years of age. Some estimates have placed the total number of people that have passed through the group at 35,000. In the year 2000, the group claimed this number to be only 26,000 and on 3 October 2005 they claimed this number to be 32,000.
Sociologists have observed that many organizations exaggerate their numbers. This is especially true of new religious movements (or any new movement) with respect to the number of followers. The Family International has consistently claimed many thousands of followers and their "official" count has remained around 10,000 for years (± 2,000). However, this number includes children and babies as "followers", and the number of members under the age of 15 is close to that of those 16 and older.
The Family International has significantly downplayed the numbers of their defectors. This is especially true of the second generation. They have claimed that from S2K to June 2000, only 600 people have left.
As of September 2012, TFI claims to have 4,500 active members over the age of 18.
Just before the "Reboot" (a major restructuring of the cult), statistics released by The Family International (TFI) put full-time and fellow members at just over 11,200 in over 100 countries (around 4,000 adult full-time members and 4,000 children).
In 2004, the creation of the Missionary Member (MM) category of membership and the change to the minimum Family Disciple (FD; previously Charter Member or CM) home size from the previous four members age 16+ to now six members age 18+ brought major changes affecting Family homes statistics. Note that the cutoff date for the mandatory FD home size adjustment was late January 2005, so the following statistics (from the end of October 2004) do not reflect the full repercussions of this change.
Note: At the time these statistics were compiled, 147 FD homes had less than the required six members aged 18 and older, so the breakdown of members and homes in each membership category may be significantly different today. In particular, the number of MM homes is expected to have increased.
|Location of Total Members|
|Location of FD Members|
|Spanish South America||68||63||131||801||340||1141||8.7|
|Members by Age|
|0-11||48% (1735)||52% (1880)|
|12-15||~50% (791)||~50% (791)|
|16-20||52% (764)||48% (705)|
|21-39||57% (1159)||43% (874)|
|40+||47% (1221)||53% (1377)|
|2nd & 3rd||67%||7609|
|When Member FGAs Joined|
Plot of number of members of The Family International (TFI) in various categories from 1995 to December 2001.
Pie Chart of TFI Nationalities in December 2001.
Plot of where members of TFI are located geographically in December 2001.
- Detailed statistics: Year-end Review of 1998!
Births in The Family International
- "Stay on the Wall!", pp.6, CM/FM#3303 June 2000
- "Heading Into 2002! -- Part 1" by Peter Amsterdam (CM/FM; GN#978; 3382A; December 2001) (link to PDF where image was taken from)
- New Appointments — by David Berg; ML#377 LTO; 1975-12-06.
- The Administration Revolution — by David Berg; ML#357 DO; 1975-11-11.