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Myth 7. A typical worshiper is over 65 years of age and retired.

While worshipers, on average, are older than the U.S. population, their average age is 50 years -- not 65! In fact, three-quarters are less than 65 years of age.

Age of Worshipers

And, the majority are not retired! Half of all worshipers are employed either full- or part-time. One in ten describe themselves as homemakers, and about as many are students. But 25% are retired. Among the U.S. population, about 14% are retired, so worshipers are somewhat more likely to be retired -- not surprising given that they are older, on average, than the U.S. population.

Worshipers are also well-educated. More than one-third of worshipers hold a college degree or an advanced degree. The U.S. Census reports that just 23% of the general population is similarly educated. Fully 87% of worshipers have completed high school.

Educational Status of Worshipers

Finally, considerable diversity is found in the marital status and family types found in the pews. The Ward and June, Wally and Beaver, traditional nuclear family is no longer the norm in America. This is reflected in the diversity found among worshipers. Family Types

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Last modified April 25, 2002 by U.S. Congregations Home Page Manager