Christian Science Statistics:
Practitioners, Teachers, Nurses, and Churches
in the United States

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Membership in the Christian Science Church has been steadily declining for 45 years. The first table lists the total number of practitioners and teachers in each state, which has declined an average of about 5% per year. The second table lists the number of churches, which has declined about 2% per year. Through 2005, these figures were obtained by manually counting the number of listings in the Christian Science Journal. The 2009, 2013, and 2016 numbers were extracted from the listings in the church's online directory. Practitioners listed in more than one state were tabulated only in the state used as their primary address. The 2016 online directory also listed 432 "nurses" in the United States.

Christian Science contends that illness is an illusion caused by faulty beliefs and that prayer heals by replacing bad thoughts with good ones. Christian Science practitioners work by trying to argue the sick thoughts out of the patient's mind. Consultations can take place in person, by telephone, or even by mail. Individuals may also be able to attain correct beliefs by themselves through prayer or concentration. There is no scientific evidence that Christian Science methods influence the course of any disease. The steady membership decline is not surprising because the church's doctrines have little appeal to modern youth.

Practitioners and Teachers

Date

 1/71

1/76

1/79

2/91

2/96
9/05 2/16

U.S. Total

4,965

4,302

3,878

2,237

1,802
1161 942
Alabama

19

12

12

8

3
6 4
Alaska

2

5

5

5

3
3 4
Arizona

57

66

67

29

44
32 22
Arkansas

20

27

26

12

6
6 2
California

1,246

1,087

986

571

435
259 180
Colorado

84

70

68

42

43
32 35
Connecticut

61

62

54

35

26
17 13
Delaware

6

8

7

5

3
1 4
Florida

376

336

311

210

182
90 65
Georgia

51

40

34

26

23
16 16
Hawaii

8

13

16

6

6
6 6
Idaho

11

14

12

8

11
6 8
Illinois

314

241

204

106

77
46 33
Indiana

77

67

55

30

18
9 9
Iowa

32

29

26

14

7
5 2
Kansas

45

41

38

16

11
10 6
Kentucky

24

19

19

8

6
6 2
Louisiana

31

28

22

12

8
7 5
Maine

28

25

25

12

5
16 20
Maryland

49

44

44

36

25
16 23
Massachusetts

295

272

247

152

124
101 97
Michigan

187

164

124

72

51
35 32
Minnesota

47

43

4w1

22

13
8 11
Mississippi

6

6

8

3

2
1 2
Missouri

134

107

99

58

45
36 37
Montana

14

13

12

9

7
7 9
Nebraska

28

19

15

3

4
2 1
Nevada

13

14

13

6

6
5 7
New Hampshire

56

21

18

7

10
10 8
New Jersey

110

88

69

34

27
21 11
New Mexico

21

16

17

17

12
11 11
New York

333

261

224

96

75
35 34
North Carolina

35

41

34

38

34
16 6
North Dakota

4

6

4

2

0
0 0
Ohio

194

168

147

80

61
34 19
Oklahoma

67

61

52

22

14
10 2
Oregon

112

105

90

51

49
32 28
Pennsylvania

133

107

96

29

25
14 11
Rhode Island

12

8

9

5

5
2 4
South Carolina

13

12

17

16

12
8 7
South Dakota

6

7

4

1

2
1 0
Tennessee

33

25

19

13

10
11 10
Texas

237

214

201

107

99
60 43
Utah

12

10

7

5

3
4 3
Vermont

8

8

8

4

4
1 4
Virginia

42

46

47

46

43
30 23
Washington

137

118

116

79

65
44 41
West Virginia

9

6

7

7

4
3 1
Wisconsin

75

65

64

34

30
22 15
Wyoming

6

6

6

4

4
3 0
District of Columbia

44

31

34

24

10
5 6

Churches

Date

1/71

1/76

1/79

8/86

2/91

2/96

2/03

 9/05 12/09 1/13 2/16

U.S. Total

1,829

1,780

1,721

1,563

1,450

1,284

1,108

1,010 911 867 778
Alabama

7

7

6

6

6

6
6 6 6 6 6
Alaska

4

4

4

4

4

5
5 5 3 3 3
Arizona

10

13

15

17

20

19
18  18 17 14 16
Arkansas

12

12

12

10

10

10
8 8 5 5 5
California

327

310

298

273

238

225
194 174 162 154 140
Colorado

26

27

27

26

25

23
20 20 20 19 18
Connecticut

27

29

27

26

24

24
22 19 17 16 17
Delaware

3

5

5

5

5

4
4 4 4 5 4
Florida

83

82

83

88

85

82
71 64 60 59 52
Georgia

15

15

16

18

19

18
13  12 12 12 12
Hawaii

2

3

3

2

2

2
4 2 2 2
Idaho

12

12

13

8

7

6
3 2 2 2 2
Illinois

118

117

114

100

99

76
65 61 51 48 38
Indiana

55

51

46

38

34

32
25 24 21 19 18
Iowa

27

26

25

20

16

11
11 10 8 6 4
Kansas

32

29

25

18

14

13
8 7 5 5 5
Kentucky

12

12

11

9

8

7
7 6 4 3 3
Louisiana

14

13

13

9

9

8
7 6 6 6 6
Maine

11

10

9

10

11

10
 9 10 10 9 9
Maryland

20

20

19

21

23

19
16 15 14 13 11
Massachusetts

72

70

69

65

61

51
49 43 43 39 35
Michigan

84

81

82

68

58

49
44 38 31 29 27
Minnesota

28

25

25

19

17

16
13 12 10 7 7
Mississippi

8

8

8

6

4

2
1 1 1 1 1
Missouri

52

50

49

40

33

29
23 24 20 18 17
Montana

11

10

10

8

8

8
6 6 6 6 5
Nebraska

19

19

16

12

11

10
8 7 6 7 6
Nevada

3

4

4

4

4

4
4 4 4 4 4
New Hampshire

17

17

6

14

15

14
13 13 12 14 11
New Jersey

64

59

50

41

34

31
25 19 16 16 15
New Mexico

10

9

9

8

8

7
6 6 6 8 5
New York

137

127

121

107

93

79
67 57 48 46 37
North Carolina

17

18

19

21

21

21
20 16 13 14 12
North Dakota

5

4

4

4

4

0
2 0 0 0 0
Ohio

87

89

84

70

64

56
46 38 36 34 27
Oklahoma

31

30

29

29

23

21
13 12 9 10 10
Oregon

43

43

38

36

35

29
29 27 25 24 21
Pennsylvania

62

60

57

52

49

42
37 33 29 25 23
Rhode Island

6

5

5

5

5

3
3 3 2 2 2
South Carolina

7

7

7

9

8

8
8 7 7 7 7
South Dakota

8

7

6

4

1

1
1 1 1 1 1
Tennessee

7

8

8

8

7

7
7 7 6 5 5
Texas

74

69

71

66

64

62
53 49 46 44 37
Utah

5

5

5

4

4

3
3 3 4 4 4
Vermont

7

7

8

8

7

6
6 6 4 4 4
Virginia

18

21

22

25

25

25
23 23 25 21 19
Washington

62

63

62

60

55

49
42 42 38 35 34
West Virginia

8

8

8

8

8

6
5 5 4 4 3
Wisconsin

48

48

46

44

40

35
29 25 23 23 22
Wyoming

5

5

5

4

4

4
2 2 1 3 1
District of Columbia

7

7

7

6

6

6
6 6 6 6 5

This article was revised on March 13, 2016.

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