As ministry leaders in Knoxville, Tennesse reviewed the Barna Group information that stated that Knoxville was one of the most "Bible-minded" cities in the United States, they couldn't help but wonder about the disparity between Barna's claims and the actual state of the church they experienced. Some cited a report that 98% of the Knoxville population were "Christian." Is this true? If so what are the ramifications? If not, what is the real "truth." Using data analytics, we provided an analysis of Knox County that described the reality of religious affiliation and religious active participation in terms of the "nones," the "dones," and the non-Christian population.
Knox County, Tennessee Evangelscape Profile
prepared for First Baptist Church, Concord, TN
This proposal recognized that several different sources of information should be used to provide a cluster of variables that would speak to the overall situation. The report that was created included maps, tables, and text that explain various dimensions of religious affiliation and participation for the county and was displayed at the block group and census tract levels. The data for the project included the following (other data included applied statistical modeling and data analytics):
WHERE DO ALL THE NUMBERS COME FROM?
- American Community Survey, Census Bureau
- Knox County Tennessee, Congregational Membership Data, RCMS
- Knox County Tennessee, Church Attendance Data, The American Church
- Church Statistics, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Georgetown Univ.
Applied Statistical Modeling and Data Analytic
- Standard data analytic approaches were used to estimate affiliation, active participation, the Dones (those who are affiliated by not active), the Nones
(the population that are not affiliated) for small geographical areas at the census tract layer.
- Statistical validity was ascertained at 85-90% accuracy based on testing analytic models to known values.
GIS Modeling was Performed on the Data
- Thematic maps show the population estimates for religious affiliation, active
participation, the Dones and the Nones across the census tracts within Knox County.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE REPORT?
– Thematic Maps & Data Tables
- Religious Affiliation
- Religious Active Participation
- The “None” Population
- The “Done” Population
- The “Non-Christian” Population
– Brief Description /Explanations
– Issues for Consideration