Thursday, September 08, 2011

How Many People Make Up The Average U.S. Church?

Photo Credit: J. Stephen Conn
When it comes to the size of churches within the United States, most attention is placed on mega-churches (typically defined as congregations of over 2,000 members). But for the average American church-goer, it is probably assumed that their faith community is much smaller compared to other churches. However, this might not always be the case.

"The median church in the U.S. has 75 regular participants in worship on Sunday mornings, according to the National Congregations Study. Notice that researchers measured the median church size — the point at which half the churches are smaller and half the churches are larger — rather than the average (186 attenders reported by the USCLS survey), which is larger due to the influence of very large churches.

But while the United States has a large number of very small churches, most people attend larger churches. The National Congregations Study estimated that the smaller churches draw only 11 percent of those who attend worship. Meanwhile, 50 percent of churchgoers attended the largest 10% of congregations (350 regular participants and up).

Want to know more? Check the websites for the National Congregations Study at The US Congregational Life Survey (USCLS) website has statistics about congregations by religious traditions at"
Of American Protestant churches, there are 177,000 churches comprised of less than 100 members. There are 40 churches of over 10,000 members. Most Protestant church-goers (approximately 25 million Americans according to this research) attend churches made up of between 100 and 500 members

To read the complete Get Religion post please click here.

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