Congregational QuickStats > U.S. Congregations > Basic Characteristics

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 2006-2007)

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 (National Congregations Study 2006-2007)

   

[Results weighted by W1]


Demographic Patterns


Size of Congregation (Demographic Patterns)


Size of Congregation by Year Founded


Before 19001900-19501951-19992000 or LaterMissingTOTAL
25 or Less14.5%
52
9.5%
37
13.9%
79
18.4%
18
1413.2%
186
26-5019.0%
68
26.5%
103
22.2%
126
43.9%
43
3424.1%
340
51-10021.5%
77
28.1%
109
27.5%
156
14.3%
14
1925.2%
356
101-20023.2%
83
18.3%
71
18.7%
106
16.3%
16
1319.5%
276
More than 20021.8%
78
17.5%
68
17.8%
101
7.1%
7
818.0%
254
MISSING014005
TOTAL100.0%
358
100.0%
388
100.0%
568
100.0%
98
881412

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Size of Congregation by Political Ideology


More on the conservative sideRight in the middleMore on the liberal sideMissingTOTAL
25 or Less8.0%
66
23.7%
116
9.9%
11
713.6%
193
26-5027.9%
229
20.7%
101
24.3%
27
1825.1%
357
51-10028.3%
232
18.2%
89
25.2%
28
2624.6%
349
101-20020.3%
167
17.4%
85
18.9%
21
1819.2%
273
More than 20015.5%
127
20.0%
98
21.6%
24
1217.5%
249
MISSING01001
TOTAL100.0%
821
100.0%
489
100.0%
111
811421

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Size of Congregation by Region of the Country


New England or Mid-AtlanticEast North Central or West North CentralSouth Atlantic, East South Central, or West South CentralMountain or PacificTOTAL
25 or Less20.6%
41
12.2%
47
15.5%
111
1.5%
3
13.4%
202
26-5020.6%
41
26.2%
101
26.5%
189
21.6%
44
25.0%
375
51-10024.6%
49
22.9%
88
26.5%
189
23.5%
48
24.9%
374
101-20015.1%
30
20.5%
79
18.2%
130
25.5%
52
19.4%
291
More than 20019.1%
38
18.2%
70
13.3%
95
27.9%
57
17.3%
260
MISSING00325
TOTAL100.0%
199
100.0%
385
100.0%
714
100.0%
204
1502

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Size of Congregation by Religious Tradition


Roman CatholicWhite conservative, evangelical, or fundamentalistBlack ProtestantWhite liberal or moderateNon-ChristianTOTAL
25 or Less13.9%
11
11.1%
81
25.7%
91
4.9%
14
8.0%
4
13.4%
201
26-508.9%
7
24.3%
178
32.8%
116
22.1%
63
22.0%
11
25.0%
375
51-1000.0%
0
28.1%
206
22.0%
78
28.1%
80
20.0%
10
24.9%
374
101-20015.2%
12
21.8%
160
11.9%
42
22.5%
64
24.0%
12
19.3%
290
More than 20062.0%
49
14.7%
108
7.6%
27
22.5%
64
26.0%
13
17.4%
261
MISSING140005
TOTAL100.0%
79
100.0%
733
100.0%
354
100.0%
285
100.0%
50
1501

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Size of Congregation by Theology


More on the conservative sideRight in the middleMore on the liberal sideMissingTOTAL
25 or Less11.2%
102
18.6%
79
11.6%
14
713.4%
195
26-5024.7%
226
24.1%
102
27.3%
33
1424.7%
361
51-10028.1%
257
20.5%
87
18.2%
22
825.1%
366
101-20020.5%
187
16.5%
70
20.7%
25
819.3%
282
More than 20015.5%
142
20.3%
86
22.3%
27
517.5%
255
MISSING01001
TOTAL100.0%
914
100.0%
424
100.0%
121
421459

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Size of Congregation by Year


19982006TOTAL
25 or Less16.9%
207
13.4%
201
14.9%
408
26-5022.7%
279
25.0%
375
24.0%
654
51-10024.3%
298
25.0%
375
24.7%
673
101-20017.2%
211
19.3%
290
18.4%
501
More than 20019.0%
233
17.4%
261
18.1%
494
MISSING7512
TOTAL100.0%
1228
100.0%
1502
2730

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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. A full codebook, prepared by the primary investigator, is available for download here. The codebook contains the original questionnaire, as well as detailed information on survey methodology, weights, coding, and more.