A Metropolis of Faith
Created by on 6/27/2016 8:47:27 PM

The Metro Vancouver region comprises 53% of the population British Columbia. In this area, not only is the population is extremely diverse, but religious traditions are also varied.

Here, we will examine the makeup of some of the major cities in the Metro Vancouver area. In 2011, we asked churches in the Metro Vancouver area for their worship service attendance, we had an average response rate of 49.27%. Using the figures that we have, we can estimate the average worship service attendance based on the average number of people per church.[i]

Quick Facts

Surrey, BC

In 2011, Surrey had a population of 468,251; an 18.6% change since 2006%. 111 of the 240 Christian churches in Surrey responded to us with attendance data for 2011. If we assume that the average of 229.54 people per church is representative of all of the churches in Surrey, we can estimate that there are 55089 people attending church, or 11.76% of the population of Surrey. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 37.8% of the population of Surrey affiliate themselves with Christianity, 28.2% have no religious affiliation and 32.81% affiliate themselves with a religion other than Christianity. The majority of Christians in Surrey are Protestant (61.7%). But, the largest Christian tradition in Surrey is the Catholic tradition, followed by those who affiliate themselves with a non-mainstream Protestant tradition.

Langley, BC (City and Township)

There are currently 96 active Christian churches in the Langley area. In 2011, we contacted these churches asking for their average worship service attendance and received stats from 43 of the churches in all of Langley (44.79%). The total worship service attendance for these churches was 9,277 people, or 210.84 people per church. If we assume that this average is representative of all of the churches in Langley, we can calculate that there were a total of 20,240 people attending church in 2011, or 15.65% of the population of Langley.

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 52.04% of the population of Langley identified themselves as being Christian. The majority of the population that identify themselves as Christian associate themselves with a non-mainstream Protestant tradition (37%). On the other hand, 42.26% of the population identify themselves as having no religious tradition. Also, 4.41% of the population affiliate themselves with a religion other than Christianity. What is interesting to note is that there is a higher percentage of the Christian population that is female, while there is a higher percentage of the population with no religious affiliation that is male.



[i] Note that population data from the 2011 Census and the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) is used for Religious Affiliation comparisons.

[ii] Included within the District Municipality of Langley are Fort Langley and Aldergrove.

 


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Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, New Westminster

Maple Ridge, BC

There are currently 38 active Christian churches in Maple Ridge. We received attendance data from 20 of these churches creating an average of 171.7 people per church. If we assume that this average is representative of all of the churches in Maple Ridge, we can calculate that there are approximately 6524 people attending church, or 8.57% of the population of Maple Ridge. Which, at the time of the 2011 census was 76,052 people.

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 46% of the population of Maple Ridge affiliated themselves with Christianity 66.11% of that part of the population affiliated themselves with the Protestant tradition, while 33.8% affiliated themselves with the Catholic or Orthodox tradition. Moreover, 48.45% of the population of Maple Ridge identified themselves as having no religious tradition, while 3.5% stated that they identified with a religion other than Christianity.

Coquitlam, BC

In 2011, Coquitlam had a population of 126,456 people, which represents a 10.4% change from 2006. Currently, there are 53 active Christian churches in Coquitlam. We received 2011 attendance data from 29 of these churches, creating an average of 253.2 people per church. If we assume that this average is representative of all of the churches in Coquitlam, we can calculate that there are approximately 13,419 people attending church, or 10.61% of the population.

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 48% of the population of Coquitlam identifies themselves as being Christian. Of this part of the population, 51.39% identify as being Protestant and 48.6% identify as being Catholic or Orthodox. Moreover, 39.78% of the population identified themselves as having no religious affiliation, while 10.7% identify themselves as being associated with a religion other than Christianity.

New Westminster, BC

New Westminster had a population of 65,976 in 2011. Of this population, 48% affiliate themselves with Christianity, where 52% identify as being Protestant and 47% identify as being Catholic or Orthodox. Furthermore, 38% identify themselves as having no religious tradition, and 12% identify as being affiliated with a religion other than Christianity.

Currently, there are 58 churches in New Westminster. We received 2011 attendance data from 25 of these churches, creating an average of 152.84 people per church. If we assume that this average is representative of all of the churches in New Westminster, we can calculate that there are 8,864 people attending church, or 13% of the population.



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Burnaby, Vancouver, Richmond


Burnaby, BC

According to the 2011 Census, the population of Burnaby was 223,218. Of this population, if we look at the 2011 National Household Survey, 42.32% of the population of Burnaby identify themselves with Christianity, where 49% describe themselves as being Protestant and 50% describe themselves as being Catholic or Orthodox. Furthermore, 41% of the population identify themselves as having no religious affiliation, and 15.28% identify being affiliated with a religion other than Christianity.

There are currently 115 active Christian churches in Burnaby. We received 2011 attendance data from 60 of these churches creating an average of 286.75 people per church. If we assume that this average is representative of all of the churches in Burnaby, we can estimate that there are 32,976 people attending church, or 14.77% of the population.

Vancouver, BC

Currently, there are a total of 322 Christian churches in Vancouver. Therefore, there is one church for every 1874.23 people. Of these 322 churches, 172 provided us with attendance data for the year 2011; roughly 53.41%. The total worship service attendance of these churches in 2011 was 36,275, creating an average of 210.9 people per responding church. If we assume that the average attendance of those 172 churches is representative of all 322 churches in Vancouver, there were a total of 67,910 people who attended church in Vancouver in 2011, or 11.25% of the population.

In Vancouver, 35.43% of the population affiliate themselves with Christianity and 47.79% of the population claim to have no religious affiliation. Also, 14.56% of the population identify with a religion other than Christianity. Of the population that identify themselves as Christian, approximately 48.53% affiliate with the Protestant tradition, and approximately 51.46% affiliate with the Catholic or Orthodox tradition.

Richmond, BC

In 2011, Richmond had a total population of 190,473, which represents a change of 9.2% since 2006. Of this population, 37.29% affiliate themselves with Christianity, where the majority identify themselves as being Protestant, but the largest tradition in Richmond is Catholicism. Also, 45.57% of the population identified themselves as having no religious affiliation and 16.52% stated that they were affiliated with a religion other than Christianity.

There are currently 90 Christian churches in Richmond. Of these churches, we received attendance data from 44 churches, creating an average of 269.86 people per church. If we assume that this average is representative of all of the churches in Richmond, we can estimate that there are 24287 people attending church, or 12.7% of the population. 

 

 

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Delta, Analysis

Delta, BC

In 2011, Delta had a population of 99,863 people. In Delta, there are currently 44 Christian churches. We received attendance data for 2011 from 14 of these churches. Based on this data, we can calculate an average attendance of 148.9 people per church. If we assume that this attendance is representative of all of the churches in Delta, we can estimate that 6552 people attend church, or 6.56% of the population of Delta.

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 44.39% of the population of Delta affiliate themselves with Christianity. Of this percentage of the population, 65.36% are Protestant, and 40.10% are Catholic or Orthodox. Furthermore, 36.68% state that they have no religious identity and 17.8% identify with a religion other than Christianity.

Analysis

A closer examination of these statistics reveals some hard facts. The city with the highest percentage of Christians is Langley at 52%. New Westminster and Coquitlam are in a tie for second at 48%. But, the cities with the lowest percentage of Christians are Vancouver, Richmond and Surrey. The cities with the highest percentage of the population claiming no religious affiliation are Maple Ridge and Vancouver.  Furthermore, statistically, there are a higher percentage of males than females that identify themselves as having a religious affiliation and a higher percentage of females than males that identify themselves as being Christian. Of the cities examined, one can observe that on average 54.15% of those who identify themselves as Christians are women, 45.84% are men. These statistics essentially reverse themselves when we look at those who identify themselves as having no religious affiliation where 52.42% are male and 47.57% are female.  The city with the highest difference between males and females is Vancouver where there are 12,030 more males who identify themselves as having no religious affiliation than females. Similarly, Vancouver is also the city with the highest difference between males and females who identify themselves as being Christian where there are 21,505 more females who identify themselves as Christian. Of those in the Metro Vancouver area who identify themselves as being Christian, 56.22% are Protestant and 43.76% identify themselves as either Catholic or Orthodox. The largest Christian tradition in Metro Vancouver is the Catholic tradition. 

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