- Over half of USA adults believe America would be worse off without the Bible, a 5% increase since last year.
- 7 in 10 Americans regard Scripture as the Word of God, with half of Americans deeming the Bible to be without error.
- Over 181 million Americans opened a Bible in the past year, compared with 169 million adults in 2020).
- 1 in 6 USA adults (16%) read the Bible most days during the week, up from 12% in 2020.
- Nearly 2 in 3 Americans (63%) say their Bible usage is the same as last year. 1 in 4 USA adults report a more frequent Bible reading habit.
- 6 in 10 Americans still indicate they prefer print or paper Bibles.
- Those who are Scripture Engaged (interact with the Bible frequently or regularly and hold values and principles of Scripture central or influential to their life choices and relationships with God and others.) (27%) are about twice as likely to prefer reading the Bible on their smartphones or tablets as those who are Bible Disengaged (interact with the Bible infrequently, if at all, and Scripture has a minimal impact on their lives.
Two thirds (66%) never read the Bible on their own, and three in ten (30%) read it only once or twice a year. As a group, Bible Disengaged people rarely seek out the Bible, tending to encounter it through others, rather than by choice).
For the fourth straight year, there have been declines in the overall number of Bible Disengaged individuals. Ninety-five million Americans now are “test-driving the Bible,” looking for hope and wisdom.
While dealing with the stress of COVID-19, Americans found comfort in relationships (53%), activities (52%), substances (46%), and spirituality (44%). Women are more likely to engage with specific sources of comfort, particularly relational and spiritual sources. The Bible ranks seventh overall at 23%.
Black Americans, regardless of their age, select “prayer and/or meditation” as their top comfort and “reading the Bible” as one of their top three comforts, unlike any other group—reflecting the longstanding tradition of Scripture engagement in the Black church. White Americans choose prayer and/or meditation as one of their top three comforts.
The findings come from a survey conducted in January 2021, in which data were gathered from 3,354 online interviews with American adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with an additional 91 responses from Gen Z youth. The sampling error for a sample of this size is +/− 1.692% at the 95% confidence level, considering a USA population of 330,036,210 adults, as estimated by the US Census Bureau on January 1, 2021.
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About American Bible Society
Since 1816, American Bible Society has been making the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation’s first and most enduring ministries, American Bible Society today advocates for all people to apply the Bible’s teachings to their lives in a way that transforms their relationship with God and others. For free Bible resources or to join the Bible cause, visit AmericanBible.org.
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