Wave III: The 2012 National Congregations Study

With 1331 participating congregations across the United States, the 2012 National Congregations Study is a nationally representative survey of regularly gathering religious groups. The congregations who participated in Wave III of the NCS survey represent over 70 Christian denominations as well as Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and other religious groups. Based on an in-depth interview of congregational leaders, the survey documents the worship, programs, staffing, and other characteristics of American congregations. The 2012 NCS is the third wave of the study since 1998, and therefore also helps us document change and continuity over time.

The first article describing 2012 NCS results describes several key trends in American congregations. That article appeared in the December, 2014 issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. You can read the manuscript version of that article here.

Summary results from questions asked in all three NCS surveys are available in two tables:

Basic findings from the 2012 survey are available in this table.

The cumulative NCS Codebook compiles a list of all questions asked, the resulting variables and their possible answers, as well as copies of the original questionnaires from all three surveys. Note: For full PDF functionality, download the file and open in Adobe or other PDF reader.
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Find out more by creating your own frequency tables or cross-tabulations of the data (see Explore the Data). The full dataset (with 1998, 2006, and 2012 results) can also be downloaded from the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA).

NCS-III Data Available

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