Age, Political, Economic Factors in Slight Church Attendance Increase

A Gallup poll released last week suggests a small uptick in national church attendance may be tied to gradually improving economic conditions, political beliefs and the aging of Baby Boomers.

The poll found that 43.1 percent of Americans indicate frequent church membership through the first five months of 2010. That is up from 42.8 percent in 2009 and 42.1 in 2008. During all three survey periods the economic confidence index has increased.

Similarly, senior citizens are proportionally the largest segment of the population to attend church according to long-term Gallup data. With most Baby Boomers in their 60s, this may be a reason for the statistical change.

It also show that African-Americans and people who self-identify as conservatives and Republicans are the most frequent churchgoers. Recent Gallup political surveys have showed greater percentages of self-identified conservatives, which may tie in to the church attendance piece as well.

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