March 2024 Newsletter

Thank you for reading our newsletter and taking an interest in the ARDA. We are excited to continue our mission of bringing you free, high-quality data on religion.

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Ahead of the Trend:

The ARDA is proud to partner with Dr. Ryan Burge and his newsletter Graphs about Religion to offer engaging and accessible Ahead of the Trend columns twice a month. Each Ahead of the Trend column and accompanying data visualizations will focus on data currently available for download from the Check out the newest Ahead of the Trend columns here:

-How Do Americans Feel About In-Vitro Fertilization?

-Has Christian Nationalism Intensified or Faded?

-A Year into the Pandemic, What Impact was Religion Having on Mental Distress?

Data Sets Added:

We are excited to announce that we added five new datasets:

-American Trends Panel Wave 105

-PRRI August American Values Atlas Wave 3

-Religion and Social Life in Central and Eastern Europe

-Religious Freedom Index, American Perspectives on the First Amendment, 2022

-Springtide Research Institute's Annual Religion and Young People Survey, 2022

Looking for even more data? Here are some helpful ARDA links:

-Categorized list of all data files

-Newest additions

Updated Data Set:

In January 2024, the ARDA added 21 religious tradition (RELTRAD) variables to the U.S. Religion Census - Religious Congregations and Membership Study, 2020. This includes the County File, Metro Area File, and State File.

The RCMS compiled data on 372 religious bodies by county in the United States. Create free membership reports at the county, metro, state, and national levels, or create custom denominational reports. Users can also now download the U.S. Religion Census County, Metro Area, and State files for 2020. Explore the 2020 U.S. Religion Census now!

Social Media Conversations:

Last month, we posted about measuring religious affiliation, the Baylor Religion Survey Wave VI, Andrew Whitehead, and religious bodies within local communities.

We also regularly post about conferences, new research, podcasts, lectures, and other opportunities of interest to our readers.

Want to join the conversations? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Feature of the Month:

Membership Reports

Interactive congregational membership reports with maps and over time charts for states, counties, and metro areas. Check out our Quickstats here.

Free Online "Exploring Religion" Course Materials:

If you are an instructor returning to the classroom, check out our brand-new Online Course! It is free for instructors to adapt for their own use. Exploring Religion is a college-level online course that allows students to learn more about America's diverse religious landscape and discover the shape of religion around the world. Students will explore religion data for themselves with ARDA learning modules and watch interviews with prominent religion scholars. Suggested research projects and readings are included too.

Historical Maps:

The ARDA recently added a new map tool. Historical Maps are interactive U.S. maps of religion affiliation and other topics from 1770-1930 with state rankings. Other map tools that can be found on the ARDA are U.S. State and U.S. County maps.

Anniversaries of Historical Events:

In March, there are many anniversaries of significant events in religious history. These include the First Salvation Army Meeting in America (1880), First LDS Temple (Kirtland) (1836), and Lynch v. Donnelly (1984).

In addition to reading about these single events, you can delve into substantially more religious history by viewing any of our nine interactive timelines. These include specific timelines dedicated to religious groups, women, race/ethnicity, and more.

Check out the new General Social Survey 2022 on The ARDA

The revised General Social Survey, 2022 is now live on our website. If you downloaded this dataset previously, please download the latest version here.

The General Social Surveys (GSS) have been conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) annually since 1972 and biannually beginning in 1994. The GSS are designed to be part of a program of social indicator research, replicating questionnaire items and wording in order to facilitate time-trend studies. This data file has all cases and variables asked on the 2022 GSS.

Nurturing Children Through Worship and Prayer Initiative


Through this national and competitive initiative, the Endowment is inviting eligible charitable organizations to apply for grants of up to $1.25 million that may be used for up to a five-year period to establish new and/or enhance existing programs that support congregations as they design intergenerational corporate worship services and prayer practices that more intentionally and fully engage children and nurture their faith.


The Endowment is especially interested in supporting programs that help congregations address one or more of the following objectives:

  • Strengthening worship and prayer practices that attend to and respect how children experience God and express their faith.
  • Enhancing worship and prayer practices that are more fully inclusive of all children, including children with disabilities.
  • Drawing more fully on the arts (e.g., music, visual arts, drama, etc.) to enhance the experience of worship and prayer for children.
  • Creating opportunities for Bible storytelling that help children hear and tell stories of faith through worship and prayer practices.
  • Enhancing worship and prayer practices that more intentionally connect worship with the daily lives of children and their families.


More detailed information about the aim and objectives of this new initiative, as well as eligibility criteria and proposal guidelines, may be found at the Endowment’s Nurturing Children Initiative webpage.

The first sample dataset from the Global Flourishing Study (GFS) initiative is now available to researchers, with the project’s initial full dataset scheduled for release in the coming months through the Center for Open Science (COS).

The GFS, a partnership among Gallup, COS, and researchers at Baylor University and Harvard University, is a $43.4 million, five-year study of 200,000 individuals in 22 countries. The GFS data will be an open-access resource for researchers, journalists, policymakers, and educators worldwide.

While several studies have tracked respondents over time in a single country, the scope and breadth of GFS is unprecedented.

The sample dataset release offers a first glimpse into data that will yield valuable insights over the next several years.

Researchers can access GFS data in three ways:

  • Preregistration: Preregister an analysis plan now to receive early access to the full dataset available in the coming months at
  • Registered Report: Early access is also available to those that submit a Registered Report to a journal. With Registered Reports, a journal reviews the preregistration plan and agrees to publish the findings regardless of the outcome, protecting against publication bias.
  • Public release: Those wishing to receive the data without preregistration can access the non-sensitive data on the first anniversary of data release for each wave. Access to sensitive data will require institutional review board approval.

For more information on GFS’s data access, visit: and Sign up for updates.

Submitting Data to the ARDA:

Do you have a data source that you would like to store in our archive? The process is safe, easy, and convenient. We even have resources to reimburse you for your time. Get the process started by clicking on the link below. If you know of a data source that you'd like us to pursue, please let us know at [email protected]. Download the submission form here.

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