Church Membership Facts

Approximate Distribution of U.S. Protestant and Other Christian Churches by size
(excluding Catholic/Orthodox)


7-99 177,000 churches 9 million congregants
59% of all North American churches

100-499 105,000 churches 25 million congregants
35% of all North American churches

500-999 12,000 churches 9 million congregants
4% of all North American churches

1,000-1,999 6,000 churches 8 million congregants
2% of all North American churches

2,000-9,999 1,170 churches 4 million congregants
.4% of all North American churches

10,000-plus 40 churches .7 million congregants
.01% of all North American churches

approx. 300,000
approx. 56 million

94% of all churches in North America have less than 499 members, not even attendees, just membership

The median church in the U.S. has 75 regular participants in worship on Sunday mornings, according to the National Congregations Study . Notice that researchers measured the median church size — the point at which half the churches are smaller and half the churches are larger — rather than the average (186 attenders reported by the USCLS survey ), which is larger due to the influence of very large churches. But while the United States has a large number of very small churches, most people attend larger churches. The National Congregations Study estimated that the smaller churches draw only 11 percent of those who attend worship. Meanwhile, 50 percent of churchgoers attended the largest 10% of congregations (350 regular participants and up).

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