American Bible Society

America’s Most Bible-Minded Cities 2017

America’s Most Bible-Minded Cities 2017

For the second year running, Chattanooga, Tennessee is America’s most Bible-minded city, according to American Bible Society’s fifth annual study conducted in partnership with Barna Group. Chattanooga also topped the list in 2013, 2014, and 2016–narrowly missing the designation in 2015 to Birmingham, Alabama.

What Do the Rankings Show?

The 2017 study showed that cities in the southeastern United States are still the most Bible-friendly cities. After Chattanooga, the top ranked areas were: Birmingham, Alabama.; Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia; Tri-Cities, Tennessee; and Shreveport, Louisiana. These same five cities also topped the list in 2016.*

While the top five cities remained steady, the 2017 study revealed encouraging spiritual growth for some U.S. cities. Springfield, Missouri jumped four spots, from 11 to 7, while Jackson, Mississippi also performed well, moving up from spot 15 to 12.

The survey also continues to show that the greatest barriers to Bible engagement exist in the northeast and southwest regions of the country. For example, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania fell from 57 to 69, showing there are many opportunities in America’s birthplace for greater biblical literacy and impact.

Check out the infographic at the bottom of this article to see the list of all 100 most Bible-minded cities in America.

Why Do This Study?

American Bible Society regularly conducts research to learn more about Bible behavior and perceptions in order to more effectively engage and equip individuals with God’s Word. The Top Bible-Minded Cities study helps American Bible Society understand cultural and geographical barriers to Bible engagement so we can better serve our nation’s cities and achieve our goal of seeing 100 million people in the U.S. actively engaging with God's Word.

What Methods Were Used?

The study analyzed the Bible-mindedness of random customers from the top 100 Nielsen media markets across the United States. Over the past ten years, more than 75,000 interviews have been conducted over the phone and online with individuals nationwide.

“Bible-mindedness” was determined by questioning respondents on the regularity of their Bible reading and their beliefs about the Bible’s accuracy. Using these metrics, only 25 percent of the national population was considered to be Bible-minded.

* America’s Most Bible-Minded Cities in 2016: 1. Chattanooga, TN  2. Birmingham/Anniston/Tuscaloosa, AL  3. Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA 4. Shreveport, LA 5. Tri-Cities, TN 

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