17+ Shocking Church Revenue Statistics for 2023 AD

Updated · Mar 30, 2023

The past couple of years haven’t been that good to churches—most of them are struggling because of the reduced number of churchgoers, the rather negative inclination against the institution, etc.

However, today, we focus on some of the most crucial church revenue statistics and if they’re to be believed in, it’ll take more than that to break them down. From tithers to partner institutions and businesses, religious organizations have ways of getting by.

So let’s see how exactly they are doing right now.

Captivating Church Giving & Taking Facts (Editor’s Choice):

  • Most donations in the US go to religious institutions.
  • American congregations receive $74.5 billion per year.
  • For every $4 Americans give to charity, almost $3 go to religious institutions.
  • 77% of tithers give even more than 10% of their earnings to the church.
  • An average congregation has an annual income of $242,910.
  • US faith-based enterprises have a combined annual revenue of over $378 billion per year.
  • People aged 35 to 44 are twice as likely to donate money to their church through an app than those aged 24 to 34.

Religious Organization Wealth

Are religious organizations really worth that much money? In short—yes. Instead of a long answer, however, we’ll just let the following stats speak for themselves.

1. Christianity is the world’s richest religion.

(Source: Money Inc)

Apparently, all religions are making tons of money… but which one has the most, though? Which is the richest religion of them all?

Thanks to the Roman Catholic Church, the wealthiest is definitely Christianity. It’s also the world’s most popular and one of the oldest religions. All that and yet, priests and nuns must take a vow of poverty.

2. The Catholic Church is worth $30 billion.

(Source: ABC News)

How much is the Catholic church worth? Well, you already knew it’d be an enormous amount of money but did you know that we’re talking about $30 billion? That makes it the world’s second richest church

Normally, churches gain a big part of their money through donations and tithing. Then, they use that money to invest in stocks and various other assets.

3. The Catholic Church made $16.2 million less in 2018 than in 2017.$36 million in 2017, and $19.8 million in 2018.

(Source: Restaurantnorman.com)

How much money does The Catholic Church make a year? Well, the amount can vary… by a lot.

The good news is that in 2019, the Vatican Bank promised to increase financial transparency and reduce money laundering. That’s how we got this info, after all—the Catholic Church made $36 million in 2017 as opposed to “only” $19.8 million in 2018. Because of the relentless pandemic, its income in more recent years has probably fallen even lower.

4. The average annual income of the American congregation is $242,910.

(Source: Washington Post)

While some congregations are bigger than others and thus, have a larger annual income, this only gives us information about the average amount all religious entities throughout the US receive yearly. The reasons for their pretty substantial incomes lie behind both charities and tithes.

Church revenue statistics of 2017 showed that over half of all US congregations were either gaining money or remaining stable. While less than 40% of them shrank, most of that number only do so by under 10%.

Churches have been raising a lot of money online as well now. Did you know that more than 2.2 billion in church donations were gotten online in just one year? It sure helps that virtual churches are a highly popular trend at the moment.

5. Over half of all US Catholic congregations have revenues on the decrease.

(Source: The Conversation)

Things aren’t as good as they seem for US Catholic churches. Only 31% of them are growing and 13% are remaining stable. In 2017, they were the only ones with a shrinking rate higher than 50%.

Out of all others, the religion with the most declining congregations is Mainline Protestant—38% of them are facing a downfall.

6. Scientology makes around $500 million per year.

(Source: icsid.org)

Even though it’s not the wealthiest religion, it’s certainly one of the most popular and talked about. Seriously, how much money does Scientology make a year? The answer might be a surprise—it makes about $500 million annually.  Its many corporations and properties are its main income streams. Of course, none of this would be possible without private donations, too. This is not your typical church, but the principle remains the same.

7. Jews have the highest income by religion in the US.

(Source: Pew Research Center)

There’s a certain correlation between wealth and education—statistics suggest the richest people are also generally better educated. They also point out that Jews are amongst the best educated. See the connection there? 

It’s probably enough to only mention that 44% of them make over $100,000 and only 24% make between $50,000 and $99,999 per year to get the whole picture. Members of the Hindu and Episcopal Church follow, though they are significantly lower on the scale.

8. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the richest church in the world.

(Source: Newsweek)

Although it has considerably fewer members than The Catholic Church, the LDS Church is by far the wealthiest. Also known as the Mormon Church, it is worth at least $100 billion. Though, a whistleblower reported that its true worth might actually be as big as $200 billion. It got that money mostly thanks to member tithes.

How Do Religions Make Money?

Religions make money in a plethora of different ways. We bet there is at least one source of income related to religious institutions you never would have seen coming. Read on to find out more.

9. Out of all US institutions, religious ones receive the most donations.

(Source: The Conversation)

In 2018 alone, they received $124.5 billion this way. Education is in second place, but is seriously trailing with its $58.7 billion income by donations. It’s a well-known fact churches used to get an even crazier amount of money donated in the past… yet they’re still on top today.

10. Out of every $4 that Americans give to charity, nearly $3 go to religious institutions.

(Source: The Conversation)

Church giving statistics prove that religious groups actually get even more than that. Only 27% of all charity money goes to non-religious organizations. The remaining 73% are split between religious congregations (41%) and religiously-identified organizations (32%).

11. Robert Duggan is the world’s biggest Scientology donator.

(Source: Tampa Bay Times)

According to Forbes, the venture capitalist has donated at least $360 million to Scientology as of 2016. Though, no one knows how much this amount has increased by now. Duggan himself has declined to give an updated number but claims it’s much larger than the aforementioned sum.

All in all, while nobody knows how much Scientology is worth exactly, it’s obviously pretty wealthy.

12. Americans give $74.5 billion to their congregations every year.

(Source: Washington Post)

Churches do make a hefty amount of money… mainly thanks to dues and donations. Did you know that this amount is just shy of the wealth of some of the richest people in the world? According to church giving statistics, it’s $74.5 billion per year for American congregations only! 

What’s more, they’ve been adapting to modern technologies—for instance, churches are now streaming their daily rituals online. Did you know that 45% of Americans have watched at least one Christian church online service? Or that 17 million visit their church’s website on a regular basis? That surely helps with the amount of donations they’re getting!

13. Mosques make money through either governments or a patron.

(Source: Indiana University)

How do mosques make money? Since they are not typical churches in the sense that they are not controlled or financially supported by their attendees. Instead, they get their funding and cover their expenses through governments and rich patrons.

Faith-based Business Stats

Many seem to be talking about donations, but not businesses. Truth is, churches would have a bit of a harder time if it weren’t for business-related income streams. They have numerous assets such as stocks, but also banks, schools, even hospitals. Let’s see how much money they are making.

14. Faith-based enterprises in the US make over $378 billion per year.

(Source: Washington Post)

That doesn’t mean just churches, mind you. Schools, hospitals, food makers, musicians, and, of course, charities are also included. The Washington Post reported they contribute more to the US economy than Google, Facebook, and Apple combined.  To make things even wilder, these church revenue statistics do not include shopping sprees, such as those during or around Christmas.

15. The biggest part of these $378 billion comes from healthcare systems.

(Source: Washington Post)

Many US hospitals are actually run by none other than religious groups. Especially Catholics who seem to be the most favored from hospital mergers. Approximately one in every six hospital beds in the US is now owned by Catholic health systems. They are also characteristic for not promoting contraception, as well as not performing abortions.

16. Religion and churches in particular are exempt from tax.

(Source: IRS)

Do religions pay taxes? You probably won’t be very surprised to hear that they do not.

Both churches and religious organizations are exempt from tax, according to the IRS. However, if they have an income stream from an unrelated business, that business is indeed subject to taxation.

17. The Islamic finance industry might rise by 10% to 12% going into 2022.

(Source: S&P Global Ratings)

Islamic banks just keep on rising. They’ve expanded a lot, especially in countries like Turkey and Malaysia. With assets increasing by 10.6% in 2020, it’s pointing that not even COVID-19 and its restrictions were an obstacle to their growth. They seemed to be making all the right moves in this regard, though let’s see if current events will interfere in their ventures.

Statistics on Tithing

Tithing means giving away 10% of your money, usually to a church or religious institution. Yes, 10%. People have historically been extremely fond of these institutions. Even with all these faith-related businesses, tithing brings in an unimaginable amount of money. As such, there is quite a bit of info on this centuries-old practice.

18. 77% of tithers give even more than 10% to the church.

(Source: Vanco)

10% of one’s earnings is rarely a small amount of money. Yet, despite that, church giving statistics are plain proof people give all that money completely voluntarily. Only 5% of all churchgoers tithe, but a majority of them give even more than 10%.

19. Faith organizations would gain an extra $139 billion per year if every Christian would decide to tithe the regular 10%.

(Source: Vanco)

Apparently, church revenue statistics can become even more impressive and unbelievable…

Many churchgoers already tithe, some of them do so with a hefty amount of money. The truth is that they are still just not that numerous.

20. The average churchgoer gives around $17 per week.

(Source: Vanco)

It may not sound like much but let’s do the math… this amounts to $73.67 per month and $884 per year. For additional reference, at least 1.5 out of 247 million Christians tithe. It’s a bit more impressive now, right? In other words, christian giving statistics suggest that they donate over $25 million to churches every week.

21. People aged 35 to 44 are twice as likely to make app donations to their church as those aged 24 to 34.

(Source: Vanco)

Younger people are usually considered to be more tech-savvy and into eGiving. Generally speaking, eGivers give bigger chunks of their salaries to charities, and even make more common donations. Though, churches might prove an exception here. Adults aged 35 to 44 are twice more likely to donate to their church through an app than those aged 24 to 34.

If we were to divide tithe payers by age, we’d find that adults aged 24 to 34 prefer using credit cards. This way of donating money is the most popular amongst churchgoers in this age range.

Wrap Up

Well, that’s all for today. As you can see, religion and religious organizations aren’t going anywhere. They’ve been here for thousands of years, why would they disappear now? These church revenue statistics are further proof that they’re getting lots of money, even though people are losing faith. What matters is that governments and rich patrons are not.

Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.