How many churches?

Irene of Grand Haven asked, "How many churches are in the Tri-Cities area? Is it a lot compared to other communities?"
Mark Brooky
Nov 13, 2013


By the local Chamber of Commerce's count (, there are 58 houses of worship from West Olive to Fruitport. Limiting the number to just Northwest Ottawa County, which has a year-round population of about 50,000, there are 52 churches for a ratio of 961 people to a church.

According to the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, the church-to-population ratio in the United States peaked at one church for every 430 in World War I, but today there is only one church for every 6,194 people.

An article for the asserted that the ratio in 2004 was 11 churches for every 10,000 Americans, or one church for every 909. That puts our area at about average.

The Association of Religion Data Archives says there were 344,894 congregations in the United States in a 2010 survey. That's one congregation for every 900 Americans. The Hartford Institute for Religion Research's data is similar.

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and this is important why?


It's the "Mailbag", and clearly a response to a reader-submitted question. Send the Tribune a question you find more interesting!


58 Houses that pay -0- $s in taxes.
Now that is really showing community support!
Yet, many pick and choose who or what religion you must practice to be in their company.
Doesn't that appear as discrimination and not equal treatment for all?
Not sure, just asking??

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