U.S. News


Religion Is Worth A LOT To The Economy

It's more than Apple and Microsoft make in a year –– combined.
Posted at 3:04 PM, Sep 15, 2016

How much is religion worth? More than Apple and Microsoft make in a year –– combined.

recent study of the U.S. faith economy found religious goods, services and institutions are worth $1.2 trillion a year.

Religion might affect America's economy more than you realize. Congregations alone employ hundreds of thousands of people and purchase billions of dollars in goods.

Faith-based elementary schools receive over $15 billion in tuition annually — and that doesn't include middle schools or high schools.

SEE MORE: Return Of The Jedi? 64,000 Australians Claim Jedi Is Their Religion

Kosher and halal food sales account for almost another $15 billion. The study's authors didn't include holiday-centered food sales, either –– like your usual Christmas dinner menu. That would dramatically increase the faith economy's worth.

Religious health care networks also bring in over $160 billion each year.

And 20 of America's 50 largest charities are faith-based –– accounting for another $45 billion.

The researchers acknowledged their $1.2 trillion estimate is actually a conservative one. Their figure didn't account for the value of religious groups' physical or financial assets, which could make the estimate significantly bigger.