Religious Organizations in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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As people lost jobs and incomes fell during the recession, donations (and, thus, revenue) to churches declined over the past five years. Slowing participation numbers and donations, increased skepticism among younger generations and new religions brought stateside by immigrants are trends that will likely occur in the next several years. Despite lower church attendance, revenue will experience slow growth as higher disposable incomes allow individuals to make more donations. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Religious Organizations industry to its growing industry report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Slowed growth in revenue will occur, as fewer people attend religious congregations

The Religious Organizations industry is made up of individual congregations throughout the United States, which will generate an estimated $103.6 billion in revenue in 2012. The country's population has a long history of adhering to religious beliefs and attending religious congregations. In fact, the United States is an unusual example among developed nations. “In other first-world economies, increased standards of living and education have consistently led to a drop in religious adherence, but the United States has gone against the trend,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Caitlin Moldvay. Compared with other countries around the world, the United States is the most religiously developed nation, given its high standards of living and education. Down the time line, industry concentration is expected to increase slightly as "megachurch" establishments begin to emerge. There is also expected to be growth among smaller religions in the United States, such as Islam, due to an increase in immigrations. Nevertheless, these changes are not occurring at a rate that will lead to a substantial change in the industry's concentration.

Nevertheless, in the five years to 2012, local religious organizations have suffered setbacks as the number of people who attend congregations decreased overall. According to the most recent 2011 Gallup poll, 29.0% of Americans reported that they attended services at least once per week, compared with 30.0% in 2007. Meanwhile, the share of Americans who seldom attend services rose from 28.0% in 2007 to 30.0% in 2011. As such, donations to congregations have also declined. “Even for those who still attend houses of worship, donations dropped off in 2009 and 2010 because of the poor economy,” says Moldvay. With less disposable income, people had less ability to donate to their local religious institutions. Because donations make up the majority of operators' revenue, the Religious Organizations industry is expected to experience a 0.8% annual decline in revenue over the five years to 2012.

In the five years to 2017, IBISWorld expects the industry will benefit from modest economic improvement. Namely, the unemployment rate is forecast to decline over the five-year period, with the majority of job gains likely occurring from 2013 to 2016. With increased disposable income, donations to religious organizations are expected to improve among attendees. However, continued drops will forestall robust growth in religious establishment attendance over the next five years. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Religious Organizations in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry consists of religious organizations that operate for religious worship or the promotion of religious activities. It also includes organizations primarily engaged in administering an organized religion and smaller faiths that are not recognized within mainstream religious teaching. Establishments include churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, monasteries and other houses of worship. Schools that operate with an official religion are not included in this industry.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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