The Knights of Columbus passed a significant milestone on April 30, 2010, when its membership exceeded 1.8 million.
At the end of the last day of April, the official tally of Knights of Columbus around the world stood at 1,800,445.
“Achieving this milestone in membership is a testament to the high regard in which the Knights of Columbus is held among Catholic men everywhere,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said. “We offer a unique opportunity to serve our church and our communities as one of the most active service organizations anywhere in the world.
“We truly offer the ‘experience of a lifetime,’ to join brother Knights in a common effort to become better fathers, better husbands, better citizens and better Catholics, together with the opportunity to provide financial protection for their families.”
Membership in the Knights of Columbus grew from 1.7 million to 1.8 million in less than five years (59 months), and continues a growth trend in which the number of Knights has grown every year since 1973. Moreover, membership has grown in all but four years since 1942.
In the United States, jurisdictions adding the largest number of new members were Texas, California, Florida, Michigan and Illinois, which together accounted for 15,506 new members recruited since the beginning of the current fraternal year on July 1, 2009. Those five states accounted for more than one-third of the 45,180 new U.S. members.
In Canada, jurisdictions in Quebec and Ontario together recruited 4,640 new members, more than 70 percent of the 6,469 new Canadian members.
In the Philippines, Luzon led all jurisdictions with 7,669 new members recruited, fully one-half of all new members recruited there.
In Mexico, the Mexico South jurisdiction recruited 515 new members, more than one-third of all new members recruited there.
The Order’s newest jurisdiction, Poland, also grew briskly, recruiting 291 new members and increasing its membership by more than one-third in less than a year. The Dominican Republic added 221 new members, representing growth of 12 percent in less than a year.
Over the past 10 months, the Knights of Columbus has recruited 70,310 new members worldwide, and councils have two more months to recruit new members before the end of the fraternal year on June 30. A final tally of Knights of Columbus membership for the 2009-2010 fraternal year will be announced in July. The number of new members recruited will be offset by deaths and withdrawals, and thus net growth in membership will be slightly lower.