American Bible Society Finds Bible Belt Alive and Well
PHILADELPHIA, TN – The title of America’s most Bible Minded city has been awarded to a Tennessee city for three of the last four years. Chattanooga has once again topped American Bible Society’s annual ranking of America’s Most Bible Minded Cities. Tennessee is the only state with three cities in the top 10, with Tri-Cities ranking in fifth place and Knoxville taking eighth place.
American Bible Society’s third-annual study of America’s Most Bible Minded Cities found that cities in the South, specifically the Bible Belt, continue to perform strongly in Bible friendliness. The Birmingham/Anniston/Tuscaloosa, Alabama, area, which topped the 2015 list, ranked second this year. It is followed by Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia, and Shreveport, Louisiana. Lexington, Kentucky, rose from No. 15 last year to claim the No. 10 spot in 2016, while Springfield, Missouri, dropped out of the top 10 for the first time. Jackson, Mississippi, dropped from seventh to 15th.
The rankings are calculated using data collected by Barna Group. Each city’s Bible mindedness is determined by analyzing survey respondents’ Bible-reading habits and beliefs about the Bible. The most Bible minded respondents said they read the Bible in the past seven days and believe strongly in its accuracy. Nationally, only 25 percent of the population was considered Bible-minded.
“We’ve seen the same five cities dominate the top five spots consistently,” said Andrew Hood, managing director of communications at American Bible Society. “We continually seek opportunities to support local churches across America by equipping leaders to help people encounter the life-changing message of the Bible. We commend local pastors who encourage congregants to read the Bible regularly.”
America’s Top Ten Bible Minded Cities*
- Chattanooga, TN (2)
- Birmingham/Anniston/Tuscaloosa, AL (1)
- Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA (4)
- Shreveport, LA (5)
- Tri-Cities, TN (3)
- Charlotte, NC (8)
- Little Rock/Pine Bluff, AR. (10)
- Knoxville, TN (11)
- Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson, SC / Asheville, NC (9)
- Lexington, KY (15)
*parentheses indicate previous year’s ranking
These are also done by Metropolitan areas.
Conducted by Barna Group, the study analyzes the Bible mindedness of the top 100 cities by Nielsen media markets across the United States. Bible mindedness is calculated based on combined levels of regular Bible reading and residents’ belief in the Bible’s accuracy. To view the full list of city rankings, follow this link.
The data reported is based upon telephone and online interviews with nationwide random samples of 65,064 adults conducted over a 10-year period, ending in August 2015. The top 100 cities were determined based on the 100 largest media markets in the continental U.S. as ranked by Nielsen. The maximum margin of sampling error associated with the aggregate sample is ±0.4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Respondents who report reading the Bible within the past seven days and who agree strongly in the accuracy of the Bible are classified as “Bible Minded.” To view the full list of city rankings, follow this link.
About American Bible Society:
Founded in 1816, American Bible Society works to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation’s oldest nonprofit organizations, today’s American Bible Society provides resources across a variety of platforms enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time. For more information, visit AmericanBible.org.