The State of Church Giving through 2003 – Chapter 5 Highlights

Chapter 5 Highlights

  • Between 1992 and 2003, giving to Congregational Finances as a portion of income increased for the composite denominations, in contrast to the decline suggested by an exponential projection based on 1968-1985 data.
  • The relationship of actual 1986-2003 data to the projections based on 1968-1985 data suggest that, by the middle of this century, giving to Benevolences in the composite denominations may represent a substantially 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 10.5% in 2003, down 25% 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 2003, a decline of 15% from the 1968 base.
  • Eleven mainline Protestant denominations represented 13.2% of the population in 1968, and 6.8% in 2003, a decline of 49% from the 1968 base.
  • A set of fifteen evangelical denominations grew 47% in the number of members between 1968 and 2003, but only 2% as a portion of U.S. population. The growth as a portion of population for this group peaked in the mid-1980s, and then began a slow decline through 2003.
  • When considered as a portion of income, spending on new construction of religious buildings was higher in 1965 than in 2003, although the aggregate billions spent in 2001 was the highest annual amount spent in the 1964-2003 period.