The Orthodox Church Today: A Demographic Study of Orthodoxy in America

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I had heard about Alexei Krindatch’s demographic study of Orthodoxy in America awhile back, but had never gotten around to tracking it down. In a recent conversation with a friend regarding the realities facing Orthodoxy in America, he pointed me towards the study.

The 2008 study was performed again in 2010, and the results are now available. It is certainly interesting reading for anyone wanting to get a clearer picture of what Orthodoxy in the country looks like, at least from the data. For those of you interested in getting a copy of the study, it is available as a free pdf download from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research website.

Highlights of the study include the following:

  • “Are American Orthodox Churches growing?” Answer: “The answer to this question is “Yes.” From 2000-2010, the total number of Orthodox parishes in America increased for 16 percent. The fastest growing groups among national Orthodox Churches in the US are: Bulgarian Orthodox Eastern Diocese (+122% increase in parishes), Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese (+121%), and Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church (+89%).”
  • “Which of American Orthodox Christian Churches are the biggest and which are the smallest ones?” Answer: “In terms of membership, of all US Orthodox Christian Churches, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) is by far the largest one…The smallest of American Orthodox Churches is Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America. Although it is considered as a national Church, it has just 2 parishes with 700 members total.”
  • “Where in America do the members of Orthodox Christian Churches live and worship?” Answer:
    “Orthodox Christians live and have their churches in all US states. At the same time, 48% – almost half – of all Orthodox Church members live in just five states: California (14.5% of all American Orthodox Church members), New York (13.5%), Illinois (7.2%), New Jersey (6.9%) and Massachusetts (5.9%).”

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