Congregational QuickStats > Size of Congregation

How many persons--counting both adults and children--would you say regularly participate in the religious life of your congregation--whether or not they are officially members of your congregation? (National Congregations Study, Cumulative Dataset, 2012)

Each question was asked of a key informant from the congregation, such as a minister, priest, rabbi, or other staff person or leader.


Size of Congregation (2012)

[Results weighted by WTA3CNGD]

Related Topics

Demographic Patterns


Size of Congregation (Demographic Patterns)

 

Size of Congregation by Political Ideology (2012)


More on the conservative sideRight in the middleMore on the liberal sideMissingTOTAL
50 or less
46.1%
324
40.8%
176
29.9%
44

24
42.5%
544
51-100
22.9%
161
22.7%
98
38.1%
56

5
24.6%
315
101-250
19.2%
135
22.0%
95
20.4%
30

13
20.3%
260
251-1,000
9.7%
68
10.9%
47
10.2%
15

7
10.1%
130
More than 1,000
2.1%
15
3.5%
15
1.4%
2

1
2.5%
32
TOTAL
100.0%
703
100.0%
431
100.0%
147

50

1281


 


Size of Congregation by Region (2012)


NortheastMidwestSouthWestTOTAL
50 or less
51.9%
83
36.1%
110
43.4%
293
43.2%
82
42.7%
568
51-100
15.6%
25
24.9%
76
27.1%
183
18.9%
36
24.1%
320
101-250
18.1%
29
23.3%
71
20.3%
137
19.5%
37
20.6%
274
251-1,000
10.0%
16
13.1%
40
7.6%
51
15.3%
29
10.2%
136
More than 1,000
4.4%
7
2.6%
8
1.6%
11
3.2%
6
2.4%
32
TOTAL
100.0%
160
100.0%
305
100.0%
675
100.0%
190

1330


 


Size of Congregation by Religious Tradition (2012)


Roman CatholicWhite conservative, evangelical, or fundamentalistBlack ProtestantWhite liberal or moderateNon-ChristianTOTAL
50 or less
4.1%
3
45.2%
278
47.4%
135
39.3%
106
52.3%
46
42.7%
568
51-100
12.3%
9
22.4%
138
28.4%
81
27.4%
74
21.6%
19
24.1%
321
101-250
23.3%
17
22.0%
135
18.2%
52
21.5%
58
13.6%
12
20.6%
274
251-1,000
35.6%
26
9.3%
57
5.3%
15
11.1%
30
9.1%
8
10.2%
136
More than 1,000
24.7%
18
1.1%
7
0.7%
2
0.7%
2
3.4%
3
2.4%
32
TOTAL
100.0%
73
100.0%
615
100.0%
285
100.0%
270
100.0%
88

1331


 


Size of Congregation by Size of Congregation (2012)


50 or less51-100101-250251-1,000More than 1,000TOTAL
50 or less
100.0%
568
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
42.7%
568
51-100
0.0%
0
100.0%
320
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
24.1%
320
101-250
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
100.0%
274
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
20.6%
274
251-1,000
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
100.0%
136
0.0%
0
10.2%
136
More than 1,000
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
100.0%
32
2.4%
32
TOTAL
100.0%
568
100.0%
320
100.0%
274
100.0%
136
100.0%
32

1330


 


Size of Congregation by Theology (2012)


More on the conservative sideRight in the middleMore on the liberal sideMissingTOTAL
50 or less
46.7%
383
35.6%
116
32.3%
52

18
42.1%
551
51-100
21.3%
175
30.1%
98
29.2%
47

0
24.5%
320
101-250
20.2%
166
19.3%
63
25.5%
41

4
20.6%
270
251-1,000
9.7%
80
11.3%
37
11.2%
18

1
10.3%
135
More than 1,000
2.1%
17
3.7%
12
1.9%
3

1
2.4%
32
TOTAL
100.0%
821
100.0%
326
100.0%
161

24

1308


 


Size of Congregation by Year of Survey


19982006-20072012TOTAL
50 or less
37.8%
466
37.8%
569
42.7%
568
39.4%
1603
51-100
24.3%
300
23.4%
353
24.1%
320
23.9%
973
101-250
22.3%
275
24.4%
367
20.6%
274
22.5%
916
251-1,000
12.7%
157
11.4%
171
10.2%
136
11.4%
464
More than 1,000
2.9%
36
3.1%
46
2.4%
32
2.8%
114
TOTAL
100.0%
1234
100.0%
1506
100.0%
1330

4070



Notes

The National Congregations Study (NCS) dataset "fills a void in the sociological study of congregations by providing, for the first time, data that can be used to draw a nationally aggregate picture of congregations" (Chaves et al. 1999, p.460). Thanks to innovations in sampling techniques, the NCS data is the first nationally representative sample of American congregations. In 2006-07, a panel component was added to the NCS. In addition to the new cross-section of congregations generated in conjunction with the 2006 General Social Survey (GSS), a stratified random sample was drawn from congregations who participated in the 1998 NCS. The 2006-07 NCS sample, then, includes a subset of cases that were also interviewed in 1998. The 2012 NCS includes an oversample of Hispanic congregations.



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