The Narrowing Regional Gap in Church Attendance in the United States

Conrad L. Kanagy, Elizabethtown College
Glenn Firebaugh, Pennsylvania State University
Hart M. Nelsen, Pennsylvania State University


Abstract Students of the South have postulated that southern distinctiveness is eroding. Using General Social Survey data for 1972–1991, the convergence hypothesis is tested for regular church attendance. Regional convergence is found, but only for the rural South. Also, narrowing of regional differences in church attendance is especially pronounced among the young, indicating that the convergence is likely to continue. Despite these results, present church attendance levels remain significantly higher in the South than in the non South. 1994 Rural Sociological Society