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International Resources for Latter-day Saints

Reaching the Nations


By David Stewart and Matt Martinich

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Area: 438,317 square km.  Nestled in the Pyrenees Mountains, Andorra is a tiny landlocked country bordering France and Spain.  Terrain consists of rugged mountains and narrow mountain valleys which are subject to cold, snowy winters and warm, dry summers.  Avalanches are a natural hazard.  Environmental issues include deforestation, overgrazing, and pollution.  Andorra is divided into seven administrative parishes.

Population: 84,825 (July 2011)       

Annual Growth Rate: 0.33% (2011)    

Fertility Rate: 1.35 children born per woman (2011)   

Life Expectancy: 80.35 male, 84.64 female (2011)


Spanish: 43%

Andorran: 33%

Portuguese: 11%

French: 7%

other: 6%

Andorrans are ethnic Catalans and citizens comprise approximately a third of the population.[1]  Other Europeans from the Iberian Peninsula and France comprise approximately two-thirds of the population.

Languages: Catalan (42%), Spanish (34%), French (3%), Portuguese (3%), other (18%).  Catalan is the official language.  

Literacy: 100% 


In order to prevent advancing Muslim Moor armies from invading France, Charlemagne organized the March states in the Pyrenees around the ninth century, among which was present-day Andorra.  A charter was granted by Charlemagne to Andorra for assistance in repelling the Moors, but a dispute arose in the thirteenth century between a French count and a Spanish bishop who each claimed authority.  The dispute was resolved by both parties sharing sovereignty of Andorra, an agreement that endured from 1278 to 1607.  French King Henry IV established the Bishop of Urgell and the head of the French state as co-princes of Andorra.  Andorra has remained outside of most European history due to its isolation and small population, but has been involved in some political matters of France and Spain.  In 1993, the Andorran constitution was approved and dictated that the state is a sovereign parliamentary democracy with two co-princes as heads of state.[2] 


Andorra shares many cultural similarities with Catalan Spain regarding language, cuisine, and music, but the development of the tourist industry and greater integration with southwestern Europe has generated a more cosmopolitan feel to Andorran society as Andorran citizens have become a minority.  Skiing is the most popular sport.  Folk dances are a proud national tradition.  Alcohol consumption rates are among the highest in the world.  


GDP per capita: $44,900 (2008) [95.7% of US]

Human Development Index: 0.824

Corruption Index: N/A

Tourism generates over 80% of the GDP and approximately 11 million tourists visit annually, primarily attracted by winter and summer resorts.  Duty-free status for some products has also attracted increased commerce.  Andorra is a European Union member for the Customs Union and for trade of manufactured products, but not for agricultural goods.  Hydropower, mineral water, forest, iron ore, and lead are natural resources.  Services employ 81% of the labor force whereas industry and agriculture employ 18.5% and 0.5% of the labor force, respectively.  Industries include tourism, skiing, livestock, banking, tobacco, and furniture.  Cereal crops and sheep are the primary agricultural products.  Trade primary occurs with Spain and France.

Corruption is perceived at levels lower than in most nations.  There have been neither thorough investigations of corruption in Andorra nor any recorded convictions for corruption.  There may be some areas vulnerable to corruption but no major concerns have been reported.[3]


Christian: 95%

other: 5%


Denominations  Members  Congregations

Catholic  76,343

Jehovah's Witnesses  198  3

Latter-day Saints  64  1  

Seventh Day Adventists  none reported


Catholics are estimated to constitute 90% of the population as Andorrans and Spanish, French, and Portuguese immigrants are traditionally Catholic.  Practicing Catholics may account for as much as 50% of the Catholic population.  Other Christian groups include Protestants, Latter-day Saints, and Jehovah's Witnesses.  There are approximately 2,000 Muslims, 100 Jews, and a few Hindus.[4]  

Religious Freedom

Persecution Index:

The constitution protects religious freedom which is upheld by the government.  The constitution recognizes a special relationship with the Catholic Church as it is the traditional faith of the Andorran population.  The Catholic Bishop of the Spanish town of La Seu d'Urgell is one of the two constitutionally designated princes.  Registration with the government is not required for religious groups, but necessary to receive government benefits.  A patrimony declaration stating the inheritance or endowment of a religious group, a statement providing the names of the leaders of the organization, and a summary of its statues or purpose of the organization are required to obtain official recognition.  There have been no reports of rejected applications.  Religious education is optional and teaches Catholicism.  Local government dictates the allocation of places of worship to religious groups.  There are no reported restrictions on religious freedom and very few reports of societal abuse of religious freedom.[5]   

Largest Cities

Urban: 88%

Andorra la Vella, Escaldes-Engordany, Encamp, Sant Julià de Lòria, La Massana.

Cities listed in bold have no LDS congregations.

One of the five largest towns has an LDS congregation.  70% of the national population resides in the five most populous towns. 

LDS Background

There were five Latter-day Saints in Andorra in 1991 and the first convert baptism occurred in 1992.  Prior to the organization of the Andorra Branch in 1993, members traveled to Lleida, Spain for church meetings.  The Church applied for government recognition the same year.  Church meetings initially occurred in members homes until a meetinghouse was secured in 1994.  Non-native LDS leaders from outside the branch boundaries served as the branch president until 1998 when the first local branch president was called.[6]  In 2000, there were 73 members.  During the 2000s, church membership fluctuated between 50 and 90 members.  Membership totaled 88 in 2005 and 64 in 2009.  Active membership is estimated at less than 30, or 40-50%.  In early 2011, Andorra pertained to the Spain Barcelona Mission and the Andorra Branch was not assigned to a stake or district.  Andorra is assigned to the Madrid Spain Temple district. 


Latter-day Saints have maintained a consistent presence in Andorra for two decades despite the country's tiny population and low receptivity to mission outreach.  LDS missionaries were not assigned to Andorra for a 12 to 18 month period in the late 2000s, but in 2010 were briefly stationed for a few weeks to provide training and encouragement to local members in their member-missionary efforts.  Local leadership appears limited but self-sufficient.  Seminary and institute have yet to be introduced and may facilitate finding and convert retention efforts.  LDS scriptures and materials are available in languages spoken by practically the entire population.  All LDS scriptures are available in Catalan, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.  LDS materials in Catalan are limited to the Articles of Faith, Gospel Principles, and the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith whereas most church materials are available in Spanish, French, and Portuguese. 


With one of the most religiously active Catholic populations in Western Europe, receptivity to the LDS Church and other non-traditional Christian denominations has been low.  Although few in numbers, prospective Latter-day Saint converts are likely to have developed several daily or weekly religious practices as indicated by the relatively high percentage of practicing Catholics.  There has been no increase in nominal church membership during the 2000s as few have joined the Church.  24% of the national population resides in Andorra la Vella, the only town with an LDS congregation.  The tiny geographic size and population make the opening of additional mission outreach centers unfeasible as there are fewer than 100 members, limited mission outreach resources dedicated to the region, and low receptivity.  Other missionary-oriented Christians report stagnant or very slow membership and congregational growth.  Most non-Catholic denominations operate only one congregation at most; Jehovah's Witnesses report three. 


The continued operation of the Andorra Branch without the permanent assignment of full-time missionaries indicates that local leadership and active membership are self-reliant and capable of fulfilling administrative tasks with minimal mentoring and supervision from missionaries and mission leaders.  Low receptivity to non-Catholic denominations will likely continue and result in stagnant membership growth for the foreseeable future unless local members are able to develop proselytism approaches culturally tailored to the needs and societal conditions of Andorra. 

[1]  "Andorra," International Religious Freedom Report 2010," 17 November 2010.

[2]  "Background Note: Andorra," Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, 8 February 2011.

[3]  "The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes report on Andorra," Council of Europe, 7 February 2007.

[4]  "Andorra," International Religious Freedom Report 2010," 17 November 2010.

[5]  "Andorra," International Religious Freedom Report 2010," 17 November 2010.

[6]  "Andorra," Country Profile, retrieved 8 March 2011.