Simon Brauer Published an article in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion entitled:"How Many Congregations Are There? Updating a Survey-Based Estimate"

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Estimating the number of congregations in the US (and, by extension, estimating change over time) is surprisingly difficult. Using a method first used by Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler in 2005, Simon used Mark Chaves’ National Congregations Study (NCS) data and precise congregation counts from 13 Protestant denominations to estimate the total number of congregations in the US in 1998, 2006, and 2012. The analyses indicate that  the number of congregations has (surprisingly) increased over that time frame, from 336,000 in 1998 to 384,000 in 2012. This is likely due to congregations being resilient to closing despite membership loss and the incredible growth of non-denominational Protestant congregations (54,000 in 1998 up to 84,000 in 2012).  For the full article go HERE