The Evangelical Lutheran Synod was formed at Lake Mills, Iowa, in 1918 by a group of forty pastors and laymen who declined to enter the merger of other Norwegian Lutherans, deciding instead to establish an independent synod. The name Norwegian Synod of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church was adopted. The present name was assumed in 1957.
Using data from the 1980-2010 Religious Congregations and Membership Studies, this list ranks U.S. states on the highest total number of adherents and the highest percent of the population in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. You can sort the list by clicking on the column headings.
Congregational "Adherents" include all full members, their children, and others who regularly attend services. "Percent" is the percentage of the total population that belongs to that denomination. Note: Adherents are sometimes residents of a county different than the location of their congregation.
|Ranking||State [Download CSV]||Adherents||Percent|
* In an effort to better match the ASARB standards for adherents, a few religious bodies changed the way their adherents were reported in 2010, including Amish groups, Friends groups, Jewish groups, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Non-denominational Christian Churches, and the United Methodist Church. This change does not affect any of the data in the newly released 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study. In fact, the data for these groups are now more comparable to that of other bodies than it was in previous decadal reports.
However, the change in methodology can distort assessments on growth or decline between 2000 and 2010 for each of these groups. County-level 2000 data using the new methodology are not readily available. ASARB staff has adjusted some 2000 county-level adherent statistics to allow for a more accurate picture on growth or decline. The revised maps and charts are now available on-line at www.usreligioncensus.org for those who are interested in these trends.
2010 data were collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and include statistics for 236 religious groups, providing information on the number of their congregations and adherents within each state and county in the United States. Clifford Grammich, Kirk Hadaway, Richard Houseal, Dale E. Jones, Alexei Krindatch, Richie Stanley and Richard H. Taylor supervised the collection. These data originally appeared in 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study, published by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB). [More information on the data collection]