President Ronald Reagan once said, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” Well, if Reagan was right, Chattanooga, Tennessee, will be solving their problems a little better than all the other cities across the nation.
After interviewing more than 46,000 adults nationwide over a seven-year period, the American Bible Society, in conjunction with Barna, ranks Chattanooga as the number one most Bible-minded city in the United States. Providence, Rhode Island, and New Bedford, Massachusetts, share the dubious distinction of being the least most-Bible minded cities in America.
“Bible-mindedness” was calculated based on combined levels of regular Bible reading and residents’ belief in the Bible’s accuracy. Barna identifies “Bible-minded” people as “respondents who report reading the bible within the past seven days and who agree strongly in the accuracy of the Bible.”
Along with ranking the most and least Bible-minded cities, the ABS study discovered an inverse relationship between population size and Bible friendliness. The survey showed that of top 25 Bible-minded markets, only three have a population greater than 1 million households: Charlotte, NC; Nashville, TN; and Dallas, TX. Moreover, according to analysis by Christianity Today, most “Bible-minded” cities host sizable Christian colleges.
Las Vegas, also known as Sin City, ranked 90th, while New Orleans, well known for its debauchery, came in at number 35. New York and Los Angeles, two major U.S. city trendsetters, came in 89th and 73rd, respectively. When considering geography, cities in the South and Midwest claimed many of the most Bible-minded spots, while several in the Northeast and New England were in the least Bible-minded group, with two exceptions: the San Francisco Bay area and Phoenix.