These 15 U.S. Cities Have the Most Churches
Even though church attendance in America is steadily declining, you shouldn’t have any trouble practicing your chosen religion. There are still millions of people attending thousands of churches and places of worship across the country. We know the most sinful cities in the United States, but let’s look at the other side of things. Getting right with God is easy in these 15 cities with the most churches.
PropertyShark divided populations by the number of houses of worship to discover the cities where churches are most prevalent (broken down into the average number of people per church). We’re guessing No. 1 on the list probably won’t shock you, but the No. 2 city is surprising.
15. San Francisco
Average people per church: 1,565 people
San Francisco residents work too much and never go on vacation, so heading to mass for a spiritual reboot is probably a good idea. There are plenty of options in that department with 528 houses of worship within the city limits.
Next: This big city isn’t short on houses of worship.
14. New York City
Average people per church: 1,353
The most populous area in the United States is also one of the cities with the most churches. New York City houses 6,160 holy places within the city limits or one church for every 1,353 inhabitants.
Next: A city making up for lost time.
Average people per church: 1,303
Miami’s first church wasn’t established until 1921, according to the PropertyShark data, but it’s making up for lost time. In less than 100 years, it’s built 462 houses of worship or one for every 1,300 people.
Next: A cemetery is this city’s signature holy site.
Average people per church: 1,291
PropertyShark includes cemeteries as religious places, and Phoenix has one of the largest in the country. The National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona covers 225 acres north of downtown, and when you include the many historical churches in town, there’s a holy place for every 1,291 Phoenix residents.
Next: The future isn’t looking too good, but this city still makes the list.
Average people per church: 1,224
Even though the Chicago archdiocese is planning to close 100 churches in the future, for now, Chicago still ranks as one of the cities with the most churches. It has a huge number of Christian churches, and when you include mosques and Jewish temples, there’s a holy place for every 1,224 people in the city.
Next: This city’s oldest church has tons of history.
Average people per church: 1,107
When you travel to Boston, the Old North Church is practically a must-see. It’s where Paul Revere launched his legendary ride to warn everyone about the impending British invasion. It was built in 1723, so it’s the oldest in town, but it’s far from the only holy site in Boston, which has 575 religious venues.
Next: A famous pastor’s church is hardly the only religious venue in town.
Average people per church: 1,085
Joel Osteen is one of the richest pastors in the United States, and his Lakewood Church packs in 52,000 parishioners every week, but it’s hardly the only religious site in town. With 1,991 houses of worship, it’s one of the cities with the most churches in the U.S.
Next: Almost everyone goes to church, and there are plenty to choose from.
8. Charlotte, N.C.
Average people per church: 1,053
Only 17% of Charlotte residents aren’t religiously active, according to the Public Relations Research Institute, which is one of the lowest big-city rates in the county. Everyone goes to church, and there are plenty to choose from since it has 736 religious venues within city limits.
Next: Religion is very important to the residents of this city.
Average people per church: 909
More than 55% of Dallas residents identify as religious, according to Sperling’s Best Places, which is nearly 6% higher than the national rate. Religion is very important there, and with close to 1,400 venues, it boils down to one church for every 909 people.
Next: A city that beats Dallas by a nose.
6. Columbus, Ohio
Average people per church: 907
Columbus can’t compare to the nearly 1,400 religious venues in Dallas, but it’s still one of the cities with the most churches. The city has some of the largest churches in Ohio, and there’s a religious site for every 907 people who live there.
Next: This city is a Christian hotbed.
5. Memphis, Tenn.
Average people per church: 804
The oldest building in continuous use in Memphis is Calvary Episcopal Church, which dates to 1832. Nearly 64% of people identify as religious, and most of them are Christian as a little over 2% are Jewish, Muslim, or other faiths.
Next: This city has the largest church in North America.
4. Washington, D.C.
Average people per church: 738
Even though it’s getting more difficult for them to attend masses, most presidents identify with specific religions. The Commanders in Chief who can sneak away for sermons have plenty of options since Washington, D.C., is one of the cities with the most churches. The largest church in North America, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, is less than four miles from the White House.
Next: The second city from a southern state on our countdown.
3. Jacksonville, Fla.
Average people per church: 562
Jacksonville is one of the largest cities in America based on square mileage, and it’s also one of the cities with the most churches. If its 1,488 holy sites were divided equally among the population, there would be one church for every 562 residents.
Next: It’s not a religious city, but it has plenty of religious venues.
Average people per church: 481
Seattle resides at the other end of the spectrum as Charlotte with 33% of residents claiming they aren’t religious. Despite that, the city houses 1,355 churches or other holy sites, one for every 481 people.
Next: Far and away the No. 1 city.
Average people per church: 289
The city and state that gave us very religious Vice President Mike Pence is far and away the No. 1 city with the most churches. It has nearly 2,900 churches and other religious sites, one for every 289 people who live in the city.
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