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Survey of Church Membership, 1971 (ICPSR 7520)

Principal Investigator(s): National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA


This data collection contains information by region, state, and county on churches and church membership for 53 Christian denominations in the United States in 1971. These estimates or enumerations by denomination were collected by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. (NCCC) from each reporting denomination. The data are recorded for the nation as a whole, regions, states, SMSAs, and counties. This dataset was obtained from the Office of Research, Evaluation and Planning of the NCCC. In addition to data identifying the units of record, data for each reporting denomination are present, including: (1) number of churches, (2) number of communicant, confirmed, or full members, and (3) total number of "adherents." When incomplete information was supplied about a denomination's total number of adherents, an estimate was made by NCCC and identified in the data as such.

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


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Study Description


National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. Survey of Church Membership, 1971. ICPSR07520-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1991. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07520.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07520.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • Aid Association for Lutherans

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    Christianity, church membership, counties, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Protestantism, religion, religious behavior, religious congregations, states (USA)

Geographic Coverage:    Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, United States, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Time Period:   

  • 1971

Date of Collection:   

  • 1973-01-10--1973-12-31

Universe:    All of the denominations listed in the YEARBOOK OF AMERICAN CHURCHES, 1971.

Data Type(s):    survey data, and census/enumeration data

Data Collection Notes:

When a denomination supplied only a count of its communicant, confirmed, or full members, NCCC estimated the total adherents by means of a computer-based procedure. The total population of an area (as reported in the First Count 1970 Census tabulations) was divided by the total population 14 years of age and over. The resulting figure was multiplied by the number of confirmed members reported for the denomination to produce the estimated total number of adherents. When such a procedure for estimating adherents was employed, the "estimate indicator" variable for that denomination contains the value of "1".


Data Source:

mailback questionnaires

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-03-18

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