h20453scandinaviasansonThe Swedish Rite is practised in only a handful of small nations, known as the Nordic Countries: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland; as well as Northern Germany in a variant known as Zinnendorf’s Rite. (In addition to these there are a few local lodges in Spain, Togo and elsewhere.) Here are the basic statistics (population (pop.) as per 2007/’08; freemasonry (FM) since; SwR is Swedish Rite; GL is Grand Lodge):

  • Sweden: pop. 9.2 mil; FM since 1735; 15,000 SwR freemasons (incl. Finland)
    Sweden only has one Le Droit Humain lodge as an alternative to the SwR.
  • Denmark: pop. 5.5 mil; FM since 1743 (SwR GL since 1858); 8,000 SwR freemasons + 1,500 other
    Denmark has the most diversity in masonic organisations and ritual; 1,275 of ‘other’ are Craft-masons under the SwR GL, the rest belonging to a number of different unrecognised orders and independent Craft-lodges.
  • Norway: pop. 4.8 mil; FM since 1749; 19,500 SwR freemasons
    Norway has a handful of lodges of German origin under GL-authority, as well as two Le Droit Humain lodges. It is the GL that has experienced the biggest growth, but all have seen a positive trend.
  • Iceland: pop. 320,000; FM since 1913; 3,400 SwR freemasons
  • Finland: pop. 5.3 mil;  FM since 1758; 1.200 SwR freemasons + 6,100 other
    The SwR Grand Chapter of Finland is organised as a Provincial GL under the Swedish Order (Swedish is one of the languages spoken in Finland). The GL of Finland (the majority of freemasons) works Craft.
  • Germany: pop. 82 mil; FM since 1737 (first charter: 1729; SwR GL since 1770); 3,500 SwR freemasons + 9,500 other
    Grosse Landesloge der Freimaurer von Deutchland is one of five unified GLs.

For a total of some 50.000 regular Swedish Rite freemasons, the vast majority of this region, and these years the system is building in strength. Edit, January 12: At the New Year’s Celebration in Copenhagen the Norwegian Grand Master set the number at 55,000.

Notes: Numbers from Wikipedia, Grand Lodge websites and foreign brethren (thank you).


4 thoughts on “Numbers

  1. There is a typo for Iceland. Total is now 3400 or approx. 2% of the male population.

    Usual waiting period to join is over a year now.

  2. Thank you.

    We have similar waiting periods in Denmark in Copenhagen and the larger towns. Norway has increased the number of ‘working’ St. John’s Lodges (those lodges permitted to Initiate new members) to keep pace.

    Once I get back to Copenhagen and Freemasons Hall I will look into some membership statistics over an extended period to see how this current spike (if that’s what is) compares with the natural ebb and flow.

    I will also try to cover some of the reasons for this positive trend.

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