The top contender for the city most in tune with the holy book? Chattanooga, Tenn. The least? Providence, R.I., coming in the 100th slot as America’s least Bible-minded city.
So how exactly is this characteristic measured? As Christianity Today reported, it is based on combined levels of regular reading of the Bible (self-reported consumption in the past seven days) and belief in the text’s accuracy.
The American Bible Society noted that common geographic stereotypes were reaffirmed in the most recent findings. Consider that the Midwest and South are distinguished as the most “Christian” regions in the U.S., while numerous cities on the East Coast were found to be some of the least Bible-minded localities in the nation.
Here are the top 10 most Bible-minded cities:
- Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Birmingham, Ala.
- Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.
- Springfield, Mo.
- Shreveport, La.
- Charlotte, N.C.
- Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C./Asheville, N.C.
- Little Rock, Ark.
- Jackson, Miss.
- Knoxville, Tenn.
And here are the 10 least Bible-minded cities:
- Providence, R.I./New Bedford, Mass.
- Albany, N.Y.
- San Francisco
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Buffalo, N.Y.
- Hartford/New Haven, Conn.
- Burlington, Vt.
- Portland, Maine
One of the trends that was discovered in the research involved the number of residents in each city, as researchers found “an inverse relationship … between population size and Bible friendliness.” As it turns out, only three cities in the top 25 for most Bible-minded had a population of more than 1 million residents.
The results were sought by the American Bible Society, a group that works to spread the Christian gospel, to help the ministry better meet spiritual needs in different locations across America.
“We want people to know that whether you live in the least or most Bible-minded cities, the Bible can speak to your needs, challenges and concerns and help you make sense of your life,” Geoffrey Morin, chief communication officer of American Bible Society, said in a statement announcing the findings.
Following the release of the data, Christianity Today reported that 19 of the top 20 Bible-minded cities house Christian colleges, which might have had an impact on the study’s results.
The findings are based on a random sample of 46,274 adults, which was conducted over a seven-year period that concluded in Aug. 2013. The maximum sampling error, as Charisma News noted, is +/-0.5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.
Last year, TheBlaze covered the first wave of this analysis, which found that the most Bible-minded city at that point was Knoxville, Tenn., and the least in-tune with the holy book was, once again, Providence, R.I.
Featured image via American Bible Society/Barna Group