Dearly departed: How often do congregations close?

Shawna L. Anderson, Jessica Hamar Martinez, Catherine Hoegeman, Gary Adler, Mark Chaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We establish for the first time a national mortality rate for religious congregations by determining the 2005 status of congregations in the 1998 National Congregations Study sample. The annual mortality rate for religious congregations is 1 percent, which is among the lowest mortality rates ever observed for any type of organization. This unusually low mortality rate probably indicates an organizational population whose weakest members live on in a weakened state rather than an organizational population that is unusually robust all the way down to its most vulnerable members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalJournal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies


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