Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Regional Decline of Religious Adherents: 1980 Versus 2010

With the Easter season upon us, I wanted to take a quick look at the religious data available through the 2010 Religious Congregations & Membership Study (RCMS) and the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA). A previous post about religious membership in both counties provided some basics as to where we are in terms of congregations and adherents, however I was curious about how this has changed over the years.

The 2010 RCMS comes with some historical data as well. Below are two charts, one for Herkimer and Oneida Counties, that compare the number of adherents in four basic religious traditions for each area. The implication is pretty clear - there has been a considerable decline in the number of adherents (which include all full members, their children, and others who regularly attend services) as well as the mix of the traditions within each county. While those practicing Catholicism remain a steady dominant religious group, Evangelical Protestants show the most growth since 1980.

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