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Resources

Religious Statistics

Religious factors tend to be difficult to measure and warrant careful scrutiny, especially when comparing data from different sources or across different religions. Below are links to various online providers of religious statistics. Religionsource neither endorses nor rejects any provider.

Numbers of Religious Adherents

Adherents.com: over 43,000 statistics involving 4,200 religions worldwide, collected by Preston Hunter, a computer programmer, to "satisfy my own curiosity."

American Religious Identification Survey: a random survey of some 50,000 adults in the US asking them their religion. Done in 1990, 2001, and 2008, the survey breaks out results by marital status, age, gender, race and ethnicity, education, and US state. The 2008 survey was directed by the Program on Public Values at Trinity College.

Association of Religion Data Archives: provides "statistical and descriptive profiles of nations and regions around the world," including figures on adherents of various religions. ARDA is located at Penn State University and is supported by Lilly Endowment Inc. and the John Templeton Foundation.

The Pluralism Project: a Harvard University project documenting the changing religious landscape of the US. This page summarizes estimates made in recent years on the numbers of US adherents of the Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Jewish, Pagan, Sikh and Zoroastrian traditions.

U.S. Religious Landscape Survey: a landmark report released in 2008 by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. This nationwide survey, conducted in 2007 and based on interviews with more than 35,000 adults, details the religious affiliation of the American public. It also describes and analyzes the changes in religious affiliation based on various demographic factors such as ethnicity, age, gender, educational level, income level and more. Extensive online tools allow you to explore the data in detail.

World Christian Database: provided by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, an evangelical Christian institution. Includes statistics on 9,000 Christian denominations and on religions in every country of the world, with much of the data broken out by ethnic group and by province and city.

Other Religion Data

Association of Religion Data Archives: provides "statistical and descriptive profiles of nations and regions around the world," including figures on adherents of various religions. ARDA is located at Penn State University and is supported by Lilly Endowment Inc. and the John Templeton Foundation.

Barna Research Online: this marketing research company frequently issues statistics "regarding cultural trends and the Christian Church." The company is explicitly pro-Christian.

Database of Megachurches in the United States: a current compilation by Hartford Seminary. The site allows you to sort online by church name, state location and denominational affiliation.

Faith Communities Today: national surveys conducted in 2000, 2005 and 2008 by Hartford Seminary's Hartford Institute for Religion Research in conjunction with the Cooperative Congregations Studies Partnership. The research studies provide "information on all aspects of congregational life — worship, conflict, leadership, growth, finances, technology and more," for churches, mosques and synagogues in the US.

National Congregations Study: is an "ongoing national survey effort to gather information about the basic characteristics of America's congregations," including churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship. The site allows you to view and manipulate data from 1998 and 2006-07 surveys.

Pew Religion & Public Life Project Surveys: surveys on a variety of topics concerning the role of religion in American public life. Survey topics include politics, stem cell research, Islam, gay marriage, abortion, moral values, poverty, evolution, and many more. Religion & Public Life is a project of the Pew Research Center, a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Pew Internet Project: Faith Online (requires PDF): a 2004 survey-based study on how people use the Internet for religious or spiritual purposes. The study was conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, an initiative of The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Surveys: surveys from 1987 to today on a variety of topics, including business and economics, domestic policy and social issues, foreign policy, global attitudes and politics. Surveys may be sorted by topic and year. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press is a project of the Pew Research Center, a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Public Religion Research Institute Surveys: surveys conducted by a nonpartisan research and education organization founded in 2009.

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