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Time spent on reading the Bible in the U.S. from 2013 to 2017

Despite the average daily time spent reading per capita in the United States decreasing in recent years, the average amount of time spent reading the Bible has remained stable. A survey showed that 23 percent of U.S. adults reported spending one hour of more with the bible in each sitting in 2017, compared to 24 percent four years earlier.

The Bible: consumption in the United States

The frequency of reading the Bible among adults in the U.S. changed very little between 2018 and 2019, however reading habits among survey respondents were at two extremes. Whilst the majority reported never reading the Bible at all, the second largest share of adults said that they read the text every day. Whilst the average time spent with the Bible has only very mildly fluctuated over the last few years, attitudes and consumption habits are changing.

Back in 2011, 67 percent of surveyed U.S. adults said that they wished they used the Bible more, however by 2019 this figure had dropped to 56 percent. In addition to this, digital formats have become more prevalent and have proved more appealing to younger readers than to older generations. Print is still by far the most popular format, however more Millennials and Gen-Xers prefer to read the Bible via a smartphone or tablet app than their older peers, and the frequency of reading online versions of the Bible was also higher among younger generations.

Whilst to older generations using digital versions of religious or sacred texts may seem strange or even a step too far, clearly a demand for such content exists. The Bible app came second in a ranking of the highest rated iOS apps in the United States with over 97 percent positive user reviews – that’s almost ten percent more than Spotify. With consumers all over the world making the move from print to digital, it is possible that digital versions of the Bible will increase in popularity even further, though there will likely always be groups who simply believe such a text should be kept in its traditional format.

Average amount of time spent reading the Bible among adults in the United States from 2013 to 2017

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Release date

April 2017


United States

Survey time period

January 20 to 30, 2015

Number of respondents

1,019 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Special properties

not including times when you are at a church service or church event.

Method of interview

Telephone interviews and online survey

Supplementary notes

Percentage points missing to 100 percent are likely due to rounding.

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Statistics on "Book market in the U.S."

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