Which U.S. cities do the majority of Christian singles call home?
The majority of Christian singles tend to dwell in large East Coast cities, according to Barna.
In a study released this week, researchers unpacked how much the dating and relationship landscape has changed in the U.S. Barna has consistently tracked for many years the relationship status of practicing Christians — defined as those who attend a religious service at least once a month, self-identify as Christian, and say their faith is important to them.
"The country’s largest city, New York, New York, tops the list at 32 percent, followed closely by Boston-Manchester, Massachusetts, (32 percent) and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, (30 percent). Las Vegas, Nevada, (28 percent) is the only non-East Coast city in the top five, followed by Washington, D.C. and Hagerstown, Maryland, (27 percent)," the data show.
Cities ranked No. 6–No. 10 on the list include Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area in California, followed by cities in the South.
New York City is considered one of the most "post-Christian" cities in the nation, the study notes, as are other East Coast cities. These urban centers are where younger Americans, especially young professionals, live and focus on building a career and delay marriage.
Marriage remains a priority for the more religious, conservative regions of the nation.
"The Midwest and the South usually have larger populations of practicing Christians and evangelicals who tend to marry sooner and more often than their less religious counterparts. The populations in these regions also tend to be much older than the coastal cities and urban centers, explaining the higher concentration of married couples," the Barna report explains.
Topping the list where practicing Christians are married is Lansing, Michigan, where over eight in 10 are married. Toledo, Ohio, ranks second and Boise, Idaho, ranks third, with 79 percent and 78 percent, respectively, for married practicing Christians.
The national average for cities with married practicing Christians is 52 percent.
Seventy-six percent of practicing Christians in who are married live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, Washington, and Austin, Texas. Seventy-five percent are in Cedar Rapids-Waterloo, Iowa, Spokane, Washington, Paducah, Kentucky and Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
The statistics set forth in the analysis were produced by both telephone and online interviews with nationwide random samples of 76,505 adults conducted over a seven-year period, concluding in April 2016.
The Barna report appears to dovetail with recent findings of the U.S. Census Bureau regarding young people and marriage. More millennials are delaying marriage and marrying at lower rates than previous generations; they are focusing on job security and personal wealth rather than getting hitched.
Twenty-six percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 32 were married in 2013, whereas 36 percent were in 1997 and 48 percent in 1980.
Barna Group is nonpartisan, for-profit organization headquartered in Ventura, California, and has been conducting and analyzing primary research to understand cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984.