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Gender Gap in Church Attendance Narrows

As women shift toward the religious “nones,” the gap between men and women for church attendance is shrinking dramatically from 13% in the 1980’s to just 6% in the early 2010’s. The explanations for this include men who are more likely to attend church, the overall decline of younger women attending church, and the increase of women in the workforce.

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Why this story matters for church leaders:

There’s good news and bad news in this report. While men appear to be stabilizing in their church attendance, women are less likely to attend.

  • Generational Differences: Younger women are more likely to identify at religious nones, meaning that churches must consider the barriers and opportunities for this segment of the population.
  • Labor Force Changes: While 3 in 10 women ages 25-64 were part of the labor force in the 1970’s, roughly half of the same age group are working today. How can churches connect with these women?
  • What’s Working? Are there things that are working to retain men in our churches?

What are your church’s demographics? How do they resemble this study or differ from it?

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