The Story: A new report from Barna Group ranks how 96 of the largest cities in the nation on how they view the Bible.



The Background: The study, based on 42,855 interviews conducted nationwide, attempts to determine the overall openness or resistance to the Bible in the country's largest markets. The report ranks the most and least "Bible-minded" cities based both on weekly Bible reading and who strongly asserts the Bible is accurate in the principles it teaches.

The Takeaways: Some of the more interesting findings from the survey include:

• The top ranking cities, where at least half of the population qualifies as Bible-minded, are all Southern cities.

• The least Bible-oriented markets include a mix of regions, but tend to be from the New England area.

• Among the nation's largest 30 cities, 10 of them are in the top half of the Bible-minded market rankings, while 20 of them are in the bottom half.

• Generally speaking, the more densely populated areas tend to be less Bible oriented.

• Markets having a higher percentage of Hispanic Catholics are less likely to engage the Bible.

• The cities with the highest percentage of the population being defined as 'Bible-minded' are:
1. Knoxville, TN (52%)
2. Shreveport, LA (52%)
3. Chattanooga, TN (52%)
4. Birmingham, AL (50%)
5. Jackson, MS (50%).
6. Springfield, MO (49%)
7. Charlotte, NC (48%)
8. Lynchburg, VA (48%)
9. Huntsville-Decatur, AL (48%)
10. Charleston, WV (47%)

• The cities with the lowest percentage of the population being defined as 'Bible-minded' are:
85. New York, NY (18%)
86. Las Vegas, NV (18%)
87. Buffalo, NY (18%)
88. Cedar Rapids, IA (18%)
89. Phoenix, AZ (17%)
90. San Francisco, CA (16%)
91. Boston, MA (16%)
92. Hartford, CT (16%)
93. Portland, ME (16%)
94. Burlington, VT (16%)
95. Albany, NY (10%)
96. Providence, RI (9%)

An infographic listing all 96 cities can be found here.

Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Joe Carter


Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

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