Saturday, March 14, 2009

UUs as a slice of denominational church

This graph, from the 2007 UUA Financial Advisor's report (thanks Philocrites) shows the trend in on-the-book UU adults since merger. We went down by almost half in the 1968 - 78 decade, stagnant since then.

But this last week, a survey came out. It appears that, overall, the fastest growing religious affiliation is 'None'. I haven't been able to run the numbers yet, (still searching around for some figures) but I combining what I know about UU and what I read, I get the following insights (for the USA):
  • On-the-books UU is growing, albeit slowly.
  • UUs a percentage of all adults are falling off slightly (just as the figure shows.)
  • UUs as a percentage of all church-attending adults are holding steady.
  • UUs as a percentage of all denominationally affiliated adults are growing.
See, even the Baptists have a declining percentage of the US adult population. They grew in absolute terms, but they fell from 19.3% in 1990 to 15.8% today. Where did all those worshipers go?
  • Largest growth was in the numbers of unchurched.
  • Next were those who affiliated with non-denominational churches.
This doesn't solve UU's slow-growth problems, but it puts a different gloss on it. We aren't losing membership-percentage to other denominations (conservative, liberal, mainstream, new-age, whatever.) That percentage is either becoming unchurched or going to independents (especially the independent mega-churches.)

No comments:

Post a Comment