Religious organizations in America contribute $1.2 trillion to the nation’s economy annually, according to the authors of a new study.
Georgetown University's Brian Grim, co-author of the study, said in a statement, “For the first time, we have been able to quantify what religious institutions, faith-based charities, and even businesses inspired by faith contribute to our country.”
“In an age where there’s a growing belief that religion is not a positive for American society, adding up the numbers is a tangible reminder of the impact of religion,” Grim said. “Every single day individuals and organizations of faith quietly serve their communities as part of religious congregations, faith-based charities, and businesses inspired by religion.”
The authors of the study examined the financial impact of more than 344,000 religious congregations across the United States.
The study found that American religion has an economic impact equivalent to the world’s 15th largest economy and that $1.2 trillion is more than “the annual revenues of the top 10 tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, and Google combined.”
According to the study, 40 percent of the top 50 charities in the United States are faith-based, and they have a combined operating revenue of $45.3 billion. Also, religious congregations coordinate 7.5 million volunteers to help run 1.5 million social programs each year, such as efforts combating poverty, drug abuse and mental illness.
The study was sponsored by Faith Counts, a multi-faith campaign that works toward promoting the value of faith.
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