Survey finds changes in U.S. congregations

Demographic shifts
According to a new study, U.S. congregations have changed significantly since 1998, having become more ethnically diverse, more technologically savvy and more informal in worship.

Predominantly white congregations reported an increase in racial and ethnic diversity between the first and second surveys of U.S. houses of worship by the National Congregations Study.

When the study was first conducted in 1998, 20 percent of churchgoers in Protestant congregations and Catholic parishes reported attending a church that was all white and non-Hispanic. In the second round, conducted in 2006-2007, that figure had dipped to 14 percent.

The study also found that the percentage of congregations with no Asian members decreased in the same period from 59 percent to 50 percent, and the percentage of congregations with no Latino members dropped from 43 percent to 36 percent.


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