Metropolitan Area Religious Ecology, 1980

Data Archive > Other Data > Summary


This dataset was created for the research reported in two articles by William S. Bainbridge entitled "The Religious Ecology of Deviance" in American Sociological Review and "Explaining Church Member Rate" in Social Forces. This dataset contains information about religious membership, population and deviant activity in 289 metropolitan statistical areas. The data come from the U.S. Census Bureau as well as a variety of publications on behaviors deemed "deviant."

Data File
Cases: 289
Variables: 181
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: 1980
Collection Procedures
Data were assembled from publications by the U.S. Census Bureau and a number of other publications (see note).
Sampling Procedures
Because the chief theoretical focus of the original dataset was the interaction between the church member rate and various measures of new religious movement activity, the data are limited to the 289 American metropolitan areas outside New England. The available church membership data were reported by counties, and in New England the counties could not be translated directly into metropolitan areas as defined by the Census Bureau. Some variables were drawn from official reports that did not cover all 289 metropolitan areas, in many cases just concerning those with populations greater than some threshold.
Principal Investigators
William Sims Bainbridge
Related Publications
William S. Bainbridge. 1989. "The Religious Ecology of Deviance."American Sociological Review 54:288-295.

William S. Bainbridge. 1990. "Explaining the Church Member Rate." Social Forces 68: 1287-1296.
Notes
Anyone planning to use the data in a scientific study should consult these two articles for examples of how the data can be used. In particular, "Explaining the Church Member Rate" has additional information on how the rates of church membership were calculated. Subsequently the dataset was expanded and used in the preparation of some sections of a book:

William Sims Bainbridge. 1997. The Sociology of Religious Movements. New York: Routledge.