The State of Church Giving through 2007
In Table 1, giving as a percentage of income is presented for per member Total Contributions, and the related subcategories of Congregational Finances and Benevolences.
Table 1 lists a single set of data for giving as a percentage of income. There is no distinction between current or inflation-adjusted dollars when one is considering giving as a percentage of income. The same procedures are applied to both the giving and income dollar amounts when converting current dollars into inflation-adjusted dollars. As long as one compares current dollar giving to current dollar per capita income when calculating the percentage of income, and inflation-adjusted dollar giving to inflation-adjusted dollar per capita income while using the same deflator, the percentages of income will be the same.
Overall, per member giving as a percentage of income to Total Contributions decreased from 3.11% to 2.56%, in the composite denominations, a decline of 18%.
Congregational Finances declined from 2.45% in 1968 to 2.20% in 2007, a percent change of -10% from the 1968 base in giving as a percentage of income.
Benevolences declined from 0.66% of income in 1968 to 0.37% in 2007, a decline of 44% as a portion of income. Out of the 39 two-year sets in the 1968-2007 interval, the portion of income that went to Benevolences declined 29 times, or 74% of the time.
Table 1: Per Member Giving as a Percentage of U.S. Per Capita Disposable Personal Income, and U.S. Per Capita Disposable Personal Income, 1968-2007
Details in the above table may not compute to the numbers shown due to rounding.
Current Income: U.S. BEA Series
NOTE: The arrows by each category indicate whether the percentage of income in that category increased or decreased from the previous year. The percent figures are rounded to the second decimal place; the arrows indicate the direction of a slight increase or decrease also for those years that round to the same number.
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