What Are America’s Most Bible-Minded Cities?

American Bible Society Announces Which Cities Rank—and Which Cities Tank—In Bible Friendliness

When it comes to U.S. cities that embrace the Bible, Knoxville, Tennessee, tops the list. A newly released ranking from American Bible Society finds Knoxville residents have the highest combined levels of regular Bible reading and belief in the Bible's accuracy.

American Bible Society's study of America's Most Bible-Minded Cities found that while the Bible Belt performed strongly, Colorado Springs, Colorado, deemed the No. 1 "holiest city" by Men's Health just two years ago, has now fallen to the middle of the pack. And, debunking any sense of a single, monolithic region, other stereotypically known Bible Belt cities fell to the mid-range rankings include Houston, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and San Antonio, Texas.

A closer look at the findings show a trend related to population density. Of the top 25 Bible-minded markets, only three have a population of greater than 1 million households: Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennesse.; and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina.

 Most Bible-Minded Cities  Least Bible-Minded Cities
  1. Knoxville, Tenn.
  2. Shreveport, La.
  3. Chattanooga, Tenn.
  4. Birmingham, Ala.
  5. Jackson, Miss.
  6. Springfield, Mo.
  7. Charlotte, N.C.
  8. Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.
  9. Huntsville, Ala.
  10. Charleston, W.Va.
  1. Providence, R.I./ New Bedford, Mass.
  2. Albany, N.Y.
  3. Burlington, Vt.
  4. Portland, Maine
  5. Hartford/New Haven, Conn.
  6. Boston
  7. San Francisco
  8. Phoenix, Ariz.
  9. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  10. Buffalo, N.Y.










Conducted by Barna Group, the study analyzes 96 geographic regions across the U.S. To view the full list of city rankings, visit BibleMindedCities.com.

"We are continuously evaluating interaction with and views of the Bible among Americans," said Geoffrey Morin, chief communications officer at American Bible Society. "Knowing the Bible landscape across the U.S. is key to helping people engage with the most-translated, best-selling book of all time. Whether you are living in the Bible Belt, the Midwest, New England or the Great Lakes, the Bible speaks to the needs, concerns and challenges of every American."

About American Bible Society:
Headquartered in Manhattan, the 196-year-old American Bible Society exists to make 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 oldest nonprofit organizations, today's American Bible Society provides interactive, high- and low-tech resources, enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time.


The data reported is based upon telephone and online interviews with nationwide random samples of 42,855 adults conducted during a seven-year period, ending in late 2012. The maximum margin of sampling error associated with the aggregate sample is ±0.5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. Respondents who report reading the Bible within the past seven days and who agree strongly in the accuracy of the Bible are classified as "Bible-Minded."