American Bible Society

Teen State of the Bible

Teen State of the Bible

The majority of American teens—86 percent—view the Bible as sacred literature, according to the 2016 Teen State of the Bible research commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research. The study also found that 69 percent of teens own a Bible, a quarter read the Bible four or more times per week and 42 percent hear the Bible read at least once per week.

“American teens sometimes get a bad rap as being uninterested or even anti-faith,” says Arthur Satterwhite, senior manager of national movements mobilization at American Bible Society. “But today’s Teen State of the Bible report shows that a majority of America’s teens have respect for and interest in the Bible.”

In addition, the research found that 53 percent of teens say they wish they read the Bible more often.

Yet in spite of these intentions, some teens are struggling to find time to engage with Scripture. According to the Teen State of the Bible research, 14 percent of teens surveyed said their Bible reading declined in the last year. Teens identified feeling too busy with life’s responsibilities as the number one factor (41 percent) for their decline in Bible engagement.

Among the 18 percent of teens who increased their Bible reading, 55 percent said that they did so because they “came to understand [Bible reading] as an important part of [their] faith journey.”

“Many teens are recognizing that the Bible speaks to the complete human experience—the struggles and trials and triumphs of life,” Satterwhite says. “American Bible Society will continue to develop tools and resources to help teens dive into God’s Word and experience its life-changing message.”

Additional findings from the 2016 Teen State of the Bible research include:

  • 50 percent of teens say they see their parents reading the Bible “frequently” or “sometimes.”
  • 54 percent of teens say the Bible has “a lot” of influence on rules at home, and an additional 32 percent say it has “some” influence.
  • 63 percent of teens read the Bible at least once per year.

View the Teen State of the Bible 2016 Report »