(OPINION) A comprehensive survey conducted by the American Bible Society, “State of the Bible USA 2024,” has revealed a continuing decline in Bible engagement among Americans. Experts worry this trend could have far-reaching implications for the country’s spiritual and social fabric.

According to the study, only 38% of American adults now engage with the Bible at least three to four times a year outside of church services, marking a slight decrease from 40% in the previous year.

This gradual decline has been a consistent trend over the past decade, with a notable drop from 50% in 2011 to under 40% today.


Despite the overall decrease in Bible usage, there are signs of an enduring interest in spiritual growth. The survey found that 15% of respondents reported an increase in their personal Bible use from the previous year, suggesting a resilient, albeit small, group of individuals deepening their engagement with scripture.

The report introduces a new measure, the Spiritual Vitality Gauge (SVG), which assesses individuals’ spiritual health based on nine key questions about their beliefs and practices.

The latest findings show a troubling increase in the number of Americans categorized as “Ailing” in their spiritual lives, rising from 21% in the previous year to 28%.

This spiritual decline is most pronounced among younger generations, with only 11% of Generation Z adults considered Scripture Engaged, the lowest among all age groups surveyed. This demographic is also the least likely to view the Bible as a significant influence in their lives.

Amid these concerning trends, the survey also highlights a persistent desire among Americans to connect with the Bible. Over half of the respondents (53%) wished to read the Bible more frequently, indicating a latent demand for spiritual engagement.

Regional differences in Bible engagement are stark. The South leads with the highest percentage of Scripture-engaged individuals, at 25%, nearly double that of the Northeast and Midwest. This regional disparity underscores the varied cultural landscapes across the United States and their impact on religious practices.