By Aaron Earls
Chattanooga, Tennessee, reclaimed the title as the most Bible-minded city in America, while the South continued to fill the top spots.
The annual list compiled by the American Bible Society and Barna Group ranks 100 cities based on their level of Bible engagement. Individuals are considered Bible-minded based on both their Bible-reading habits and belief in the Bible’s accuracy.
The most Bible-minded respondents said they had read the Bible in the past seven days and believe strongly in the accuracy of the Bible. Nationally, 25 percent of the population is considered Bible minded.
With Birmingham, Alabama, dropping to second this year, Chattanooga reclaims the top spot. Both cities are the only two in the nation where more than half of the population is considered Bible-minded—52 percent for Chattanooga and 51 percent for Birmingham. The same five cities as last year occupy the top five spots in 2016.
With Chattanooga and Birmingham, the 10 most Bible-minded cities are:
- Chattanooga: 52%
- Birmingham/Anniston/Tuscaloosa: 51%
- Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia: 48%
- Shreveport, Louisiana: 47%
- Tri-Cities, Tennessee: 47%
- Charlotte, North Carolina: 46%
- Little Rock/Pine Bluff, Arkansas: 45%
- Knoxville, Tennessee: 45%
- Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson, South Carolina/Asheville, North Carolina: 44%
- Lexington, Kentucky: 44%
As a state, Tennessee had five cities in the top 25 and three in the top 10.
Springfield, Missouri, ranked 11, and Lexington both had the highest jumps from last year, with each moving up five spots.
The 10 least Bible-minded cities are:
- Salt Lake City, Utah: 17%
- Phoenix/Prescott, Arizona: 16%
- Hartford/New Haven, Connecticut: 16%
- San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose: 15%
- Las Vegas, Nevada: 14%
- Buffalo, New York: 13%
- Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, Iowa: 13%
- Providence, Rhode Island/New Bedford, Massachusetts: 12%
- Boston, Massachusetts/Manchester, New Hampshire: 11%
- Albany/Schenectady/Troy, New York: 10%
Facts & Trends reported on the 2015 list, as well as other similar rankings like the states that search most for the Bible on Google, the most evangelical states, which states attend religious services most, and the religious makeup of America’s largest cities.
Facts & Trends also noted the most popular Bible verses in 2015 from two online Scripture platforms.
For more on the 2016 Bible-minded city list, visit the American Bible Society.
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.