Created by on 6/27/2016 8:47:27 PM
Christianity in Vancouver and Abbotsford
Both Vancouver and Abbotsford are cities that are known and loved for different reasons. In each city, one is sure to find something truly unique. Both of these cities are vibrant and growing cities. Their population growth of over 10% since 2001 reflects this.
Over the years, people have created different opinions about the Christian population in Vancouver or Abbotsford. Abbotsford is often described as being the “Bible Belt of BC” whereas Vancouver is seen as needing spiritual renewal. But how many Christians are there in each city? And of the population that affiliates themselves with Christianity, how many attend church regularly?
In Vancouver, 35.43% of the population affiliate themselves with Christianity. If we assumed that only those who affiliated themselves with a Christian tradition attended church, the percentage of those that identified themselves as being Christian and regularly attended church in would be approximately 31.75%.[i] Based on the total population of Vancouver, 11.25% of the population attends church regularly. There are currently 322 churches in Vancouver; or one church for every 1874.23 people. When we asked these churches for 2011 attendance data, we received a response rate of 53.41%. There is an average of 210.90 people per church within Vancouver.
In Abbotsford, there are a total of 95 churches. Therefore, there is one church for every 1,495 people. 67.36% of these churches provided us with attendance data for 2003 and 2013. There is an average of 257.64 people per church within the city of Abbotsford. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the total population that identified themselves as being Christian was 49.7%. If we assumed that only those who affiliated themselves with a Christian tradition attended church, the percentage of those that identified themselves as being Christian and regularly attended church in would be approximately 37.62%.[ii] Out of the total population of the city of Abbotsford, just 17.58% attended church in 2013.
In Abbotsford, compared to Vancouver, 17.95% more of the population affiliate themselves with Christianity. Despite this difference, both cities have roughly the same amount of the total population that attend church. Moreover, most of the Christian population in Abbotsford is Protestant, and of that population, the majority (36,015) identify with a non-mainstream Protestant tradition. In contrast, the majority of Vancouver’s Christian population identify with the Catholic Church (101,520).
The population of Vancouver without a religious affiliation is much higher than that of Abbotsford’s. In Abbotsford, 25.47% of the population are without a religious affiliation, and in Vancouver 47.79% of the population are without a religious affiliation. This is a difference of 22.32%.
Both Vancouver and Abbotsford are diverse and growing cities. These statistics representing the Christian population and church attendance also reflect that.
[i] We recognize that there are people who attend church, but may not be affiliated with a Christian tradition.