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About this affiliate

The Association of Religion Data Archives (theARDA.com) provides free access to the highest quality information and data on American and international religion.

Department of Sociology
The Pennsylvania State University
211 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16802-6207

Roger Finke, Director

Association of Religion Data Archives

Relying on over 500 of the highest quality data collections on religion, the Association of Religion Data Archives provides easy access to the most trusted information on American and international religion. The ARDA has customized home pages for congregations, educators, researchers, and the press, and it has developed a rich array of tools for exploring this information. A few of the most popular features are listed below.

Church Membership Reports: Get a list of the religious groups and their membership in any U.S. county. The reports not only offer the most recent data from the Religious Congregations and Membership Study (RCMS), by denomination and denominational groups, they offer multiple points in time and compute changes over time for each group. Reports can also be generated for multiple counties, a metro area, a state, or the nation.

Demographic Reports and GIS Maps: Working with Social Explorer, the ARDA provides GIS maps and customized demographic reports for the census tracts or areas that you select.

Denominational Trees and Denominational Profiles: Select from hundreds of religious groups to receive a one- to two-sentence history of the group, an interactive graphic on past schisms and mergers, and a chart giving the group’s clergy, congregation, and membership totals. From this opening page, a single click allows you to view a graph with the denomination’s membership and congregation trends, create a map that shows the distribution of the denomination across the nation, review data collections in the archive on this group, navigate to the denomination’s home page, or view a denominational family tree.

National and Regional Profiles: View a wide range of religious, political, and socio-economic measures for virtually any country or region in the world (e.g., China). Countries and regions can be viewed separately or up to eight can be selected for on-screen comparisons. The data profiled include multiple measures on religious freedom, religious persecution, and religious adherence, as well as summary data from The World Factbook and the World Values Surveys when available.

Church Membership Mapping: Church membership maps can be generated for any denomination in the RCMS collection, for denominational groups (e.g., evangelical), and for other selected variables. The maps can include counties in any state, states for the U.S.as a whole, and they can be generated for counties using our GIS mapping tool.

QuickStats: Offers one-click access to survey findings on Americans' religious beliefs, behaviors, affiliations, attitudes, and experiences. Who prays and how often? Have the responses changed over time or across surveys?

QuickLists: Generates data on religion in rank order for U.S. counties, metro areas and states, or for nations and regions. Find out which metro areas have the highest percentage of Catholics or which countries regulate religion most extensively.

Ahead of the Trend: National religion writer David Briggs writes a bi-weekly column on the latest news in religion research from throughout the world. A former Associated Press religion writer, Briggs holds a master’s degree in religion from Yale Divinity School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Data Archive: This is the informational foundation for the features mentioned above. Select any of the data collections and you can learn more about how the data were collected as well as review the results of any survey question online. For most survey questions, you can click once to learn how the answers varied by educational groups, religious groups, income groups, and gender. All of the data collections can be downloaded free of charge, and the survey questions can also be saved to a custom "Question Bank" for constructing your own survey.

The ARDA is funded by the Lilly Endowment, the John Templeton Foundation, and the Pennsylvania State University.

Contact [email protected]



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Popular Tools

Browse dozens of topics and see responses from a major national survey of congregations.



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