Religion: Sad Statistics

After four years, spent tabulating statistics from every congregation in the country, the Bureau of the Census last week released a U. S. religious census for 1936 (first since 1926). It made sad reading for the devout. Though church membership had risen in the decade from 54,576,346 to 55,807,366, the percentage of increase was well under that for the population as a whole. Worse still, church expenditures had dropped from $817,214,528 in 1926 to $518,953,571 in 1936, and the value of church buildings from $3,839,500,610 to $3,411,875,467.

New sects swelled the total number of U. S. religious bodies from 213 to 256,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!