The State of Church Giving through 2002 – Chapter 5 Highlights

Chapter 5 Highlights

  • Between 1992 and 2002, giving to Congregational Finances as a portion of income increased, in contrast to the decline suggested by an exponential projection based on 1968-1985 data.
  • The relationship of actual 1986-2002 data to the projections based on 1968-1985 data suggest that, by the middle of this century, giving to Benevolences may represent a reduced portion of income.
  • The composite data set communions analyzed in earlier chapters of this volume measured 14.1% of U.S. population in 1968 and 10.7% in 2002, down 24% as a portion of U.S. population from the 1968 base.
  • Membership in a set of 37 Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church represented 45% of U.S. population in 1968, and 38% in 2002, a decline of 15% from the 1968 base.
  • Eleven mainline Protestant denominations represented 13.2% of the population in 1968, and 7.0% in 2002, a decline of 47% from the 1968 base.
  • A set of fifteen evangelical denominations grew 48% as a portion of U.S. population between 1968 and 2002. However, the growth as a portion of population for this group peaked in the mid-1980s, and then began a slow decline through 2002.
  • When considered as a portion of income, spending on new construction of religious buildings was higher in 1965 than in 2002, although the aggregate billions spent in 2002 was the second highest annual amount spent in the 1964-2002 period.