Church Decline Statistics (US)

Approximately 4,000 churches close their doors every year while only 1,000 new churches are opened!

16% of churches received no new members. 13% even reported having no children as members!   HALF the churches in the US did not reach one person for Christ in the last year!

• From 1990-2000 the US population increased 11.4% (24,153,000) yet the combined membership of Protestant denominations decreased by 9.5% (4,498,242).

Every mainline Protestant Church in the US is in decline in the past 20 years:

  • Presbyterian  -24%  (for example in 1995 alone they lost 100,000 members)
  • Episcopal   – 20%
  • United Methodist     – 16%
  • Church of Christ  -15%
  • Even the Southern Baptists who had been growing until recently, as of 2013 have declined 5.5%.
  • Except the Assemblies of God membership which grew by 1.4% in 2013

(Keep in mind that natural church attrition is -10%.  People die, move and stop coming.  For The Ridge –   to grow by 10% we have to really grow by 20% due to natural attrition.)

• Not a single county in America has a greater percentage of “churched persons” than 10 years ago!

• In 1900 – 27 churches for every 10,000 Americans.
• In 1950 – 17 churches for every 10,000 Americans.
• In 2000 – Less than 11 churches for every 10,000 Americans.

18.0% of Americans attended in church in 2002.   Soon, we can catch up with Europe, which is currently “enjoying” two to four percent of its population in regular Church attendance.

The United States now ranks third (3rd) following China and India in the number of people who are not professing Christians; in other words, the U.S. is becoming an ever-increasing “un-reached people group.”

Isn’t it time to reverse these statistics?  Will you join with me in prayer, fasting, and hard work to reach our country for Christ?   Darrell


Hartford Institute for Religion Research. “Fast Facts about American Religion” 01 Jan. 2008

Home Missions Agency of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. “Church Growth Statistics” 01 Jan. 2008

Lindner, Eileen W. 2007 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches. Abingdon Press. Nashville, TN. 2006

Marshall, Peter and David Manuel. The Light & the Glory. Fleming H. Revell Co. Old Tappan, NJ. 1977.

Phillips, Timothy R. and Dennis L. Okholm. A Family of Faith: An Introduction to Evangelical Christianity. Baker Academic. Grand Rapids, MI. 2001.

R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development © 2007 (research from 1998 to 2006)

White, James Emery Rethinking the Church, 2003  (1/20/13)

Click to access Online%20Stats%202013.pdf

About dkoop

Lead Pastor of Upwards Church: Leander & Jarrell, TX
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5 Responses to Church Decline Statistics (US)

  1. Dr. Jeffrey D. Daley says:

    Lutheran Christian Education has been the backbone of LCMS and WELC until the ’70s of the last century, Today, only a decade into the 2000’s Luth. Ed. (from K-12) has decreased in total pop. and decreased in % of Lutherans attending. The Concordia System has expanded only if you count post-grad programs, but % of Lutherans in those has drastically decreased. (Post-grad programs no longer require rel. classes and so are truly only “cash cows”. I believe this is the major reason for losses in total cong. membership. The change in culture is proving to be as great a drain on our spiritual life as was the Roman Persecutions and heresies of the early Christian Church. Revive Christian education and renew membership growth and outreach to others. After 44 years of being a commissioned minister, I can testify to the effectiveness of the outreach Christian education has.

  2. Dr. Jeffrey D. Daley says:

    Dr. Jeffrey D. Daley – former Lutheran teacher (started Luth. School) taught elementary and H.S. – also taught in Concordia System (CU Chicago- 2 yrs) CU Austin, TX – 9 yrs), Valporaiso U. (2 yrs)
    Also admistered H.S. Luther North Chicago and V.U. Continue teaching after retirement (adjunct at CU Chicago and Bible classes and Church History at Bethlehem Luth. Church, West Dundee, IL

  3. Kirk Heiner says:

    Good article. It will take a great deal more than even prayer and hard work. It will take the wisdom to begin acting and operating like the early church in the book of acts. It will mean discipline and doing things God’s way.The answers lie in scripture. We also must begin to use the communication tools of the day. Media, internet and technology. It’s time to wake up.

  4. Hannah Gomez says:

    Good article! Could you point me towards which reference this came from ‘Baptist churches, Assemblies of God and other Evangelical Churches are growing (but less than 2%) not at the same rate as the population’. Using it in my dissertation about church growth.

    • dkoop says:

      Thanks Hannah for the comment! You made me dig into my sources and research. Now the article is updated with sources at the bottom: Southern Baptist in 2013 declined 5% and Assemblies of God grew by 1.4% Thanks again. Good luck on your research and paper.

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