American Bible Society

The Most and Least Bible-Minded Cities in America

The Most and Least Bible-Minded Cities in America
Birmingham, Ala., ranks No. 1.

As we seek to help 100 million people actively engage God’s Word, American Bible Society is learning more about how people perceive and use the Bible in cities across the U.S.

Birmingham, Alabama, ranks No. 1, according to American Bible Society's study, America's Most Bible-Minded Cities. Chattanooga, Tenn., claimed last year's top spot.

America's Most Bible-Minded Cities 2015, our third consecutive study, shows that the states in the Bible Belt still performed strongly, while East Coast cities continue to rank last as the least Bible-minded in 2015.

Along with ranking the most and least Bible-minded cities, the study also found small cities generally performed better than did large cities. Just one of the top 10 Bible-minded cities rank in the top 25 media markets.

The 2013 list topper, Knoxville, Tennessee, dropped out of the top 10 for the first time, while America’s largest city, New York, entered the bottom ten for the first time, ranking 91st on the 2015 list. One surprise this year was Dallas’ dropping out of the top 25 most Bible-minded cities, coming in at number 26.

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 had read the Bible in the past seven days and believe strongly in the accuracy of the Bible. Nationally, only 27 percent of the population was considered Bible minded.

This year’s rankings from the America’s Most Bible-Minded Cities study show many differences from usage statistics for American Bible Society’s Bible search engine, Bibles.org. Louisville, Kentucky registered the largest number of searches on Bibles.org while Syracuse, New York registered the fewest searches of any of the top 100 markets.

“Online rankings consider only one data point — Bible search behavior — while American Bible Society’s Bible-Minded Cities survey examines both behavior and attitudes about the Bible to harvest a more authentic survey of each city’s population. This provides a more three dimensional view of a city’s real Bible mindedness,” said Andrew Hood, managing director of communications at American Bible Society.

“This study provides us with a great starting point to understand where people are interacting with Scripture and what their views are of the Bible,” said Hood. “We want to help people continue to grow their engagement with the Bible. Ultimately, we want people to know that, whether they live in one of the most or least Bible-minded cities, the Bible can speak to their needs and challenges and help them make sense of life.”

American Bible Society offers numerous Bible resources to help spur Bible engagement. The Bible memorization app BibleMinded offers memory plans and study modes to help you commit Scripture verses to memory. The Bible devotional resource Journeys allows you to sign up for a daily Bible devotional. You can start the Bible Introduction journey by signing up below.


Most and Least Bible-Minded Cities Infographic

America's Most and Least Bible-Minded Cities 2015 Infographic
Most Bible-Minded Cities
2014
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Birmingham, Ala.
Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.
Springfield, Mo.
Shreveport, La.
Charlotte, N.C.
Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C./Asheville, N.C.
Little Rock, Ark.
Jackson, Miss.
Knoxville, Tenn.
Least Bible-Minded Cities
2014
Providence, R.I./New Bedford, Mass.
Albany, N.Y.
Boston, Mass.
San Francisco, Calif.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Buffalo, N.Y.
Hartford/New Haven, Conn.
Phoenix, Ariz.
Burlington, Vt.
Portland, Maine