Unitarian Universalist Church Attendance Figures Are Even Worse Than Stagnant Or Declining UUA Membership Statistics
Once again take the word of UU World magazine editor Chris Walton, as published in this comment on the online version of his UU World article titled 'UUA membership declines for fourth year' -
The UUA began tracking reported attendance in 2006, so we don't have a full decade's worth of data. The attendance data we have peaked in 2009 at 102,628, then began dropping at increasingly steeper rates. 2012 was down 4 percent from 2009, to 98,483.
A caveat, of course: This is a pretty new data point for congregations to be collecting and reporting, and it isn't clear yet how consistently it is being used compared to the reporting of membership. But the trend line parallels the membership trend, and it's hard to see good news in it.
Interestingly enough, just off the top of my head, I had previously estimated that actual "church" attendance at UUA congregations on any given Sunday to be approximately 100,000 U*Us. Chris Walton's comment validates that off-the-cuff rough estimate that I came up with in the last few months, and even proves my "guesstimate" to be slightly high. It seems that actual attendance at U*U Sunday services is declining slightly faster than official U*U "church" membership. In any case, 98,483 church attendees for 2012 is a significantly lower figure than 161,502 card-carrying members in The U*U Movement in 2012. And let's not forget that not everyone attending a Unitarian Universalist "church" service is a U*U, thus church attendance in terms of actual U*Us will actually be somewhat lower than 98 thousand. Indeed these official UUA membership statistics mean that fewer than two thirds of the members of The Tiny Declining Fringe Religion™ even bother to attend U*U Sunday services. As Chris said, it's hard to see good news in these recent UUA statistics isn't it U*Us?