What is the number of church websites in the United States? Yes it’s quite a herculean effort to count the exact number and I’m not sure there’s research money to pull off such a census. Plus the wide range of differing theological definitions for what is a church exacerbates any attempts to quantify them.
First, the big number, that is, how many churches in America. Hartford Institute estimates there are roughly 335,000 religious congregations in the United States. Of those, about 300,000 are Protestant and other Christian churches, and 22,000 are Catholic and Orthodox churches. And: According to the book Beyond Megachurch Myths, there were 320,000 Christian U.S. churches in 2007.
Two surveys have an answer for how many churches have websites: 69% and 78%. Doing the math on the conservative side (because just having a website doesn’t mean the information is current), 69% of 300,000 is 207,000.
Here’s the numbers behind the numbers –
The FACT 2010 Report: A Decade of Change in American Congregations 2000 – 2010 cited “… By 2010 over 90% of congregations used email; seven in ten had websites, and four in ten had Facebook pages…” // … the FACT 2010 national aggregated data set includes responses from 11,077 congregations, and over 120 denominations. … Sampling error for a survey such as FACT2010 can only be roughly estimated. We believe a conservative estimate is +/- 4% at the 95% confidence level. … with responses from 14,301 congregations it remains the largest national survey of congregations ever conducted in the U.S.
LifeWay Research study sponsored by Axletree Media cited “… survey of 1,003 Protestant churches found that while 78 percent have a website …” // Their methodology: LifeWay Research conducted a phone survey among a stratified, random sample of Protestant churches Sept. 8-20, 2010, interviewing 1,003 staff members most responsible for making decisions about the technology used in their church. Responses were weighted to reflect the natural size distribution of churches. The sample provides 95 percent confidence that the sampling error does not exceed ±3.2 percent.