Sermon Illustrations > Giving & Stewardship > Statistics


Pulpit Helps, August, 1992, p. 8

The U.S. Department of Commerce has recently released statistics on American churches, clergy and church schools.

Church Law & Tax Report give some interesting figures: Number of U.S. congregations: 294,271 Churches with fewer than 100 members: 60,300 Churches with fewer than 500 members: 205,556 Churches with 1,000-1,999 members: 21,691 Churches with 2,000 or more members: 13,958

Last year churches received $49 billion in revenues, of which $40 billion came from contributions, $1.4 billion from wills and estates, and $2.5 billion from fees or charges for services.

There are a total of 348,000 clergy employed in the United States, and they have served an average of 15.8 years in each position.

Who is supporting these churches? Persons 65-74 years of age donated the largest percentage of their income (3.1 percent) and those 18-24 the least (0.6 percent). Increasingly, those with lower incomes gave a higher proportion of their income to charity than higher income individuals. Persons with household incomes of under $10,000 gave 2.8 percent of their total incomes, while those with incomes over $100,000 gave only 2.1 percent. The average annual contribution to the church was $715 per household.