FAQs

Why do some counties have limited or no data?
How can I download data?
Why doesn’t the Digital Atlas of American Religion use FIPS codes for county identification?



Why do some counties have limited or no data?

There are many reason a particular county may have no data for a particular combination of year, denomination/family, and type of data (adherent/member/congregation).  As always, please refer to the data availability matrix for a complete description of when certain data are available. http://religionatlas.org/documents/Data_Availability_Matrix.pdf

First, only certain years have data for each type.  For example adherent data begins in 1971 and is unavailable for earlier years.

Second, some smaller denominations might not have and adherents, members, or congregations in a particular county.  In these cases you will see data for some counties and not others.

Third, counties change over time, and while we have gone to great lengths to represent counties as they existed in past Digital Atlas of American Religion data years, there are cases where there is simply no source religion data available for a certain year for a certain county.

 

How can I download data?

You can download the tabular data driving maps and charts by following these steps.

STEP 1: Click on the data table icon in the lower left corner of the screen to view the data in tabular form.

STEP 2: When viewing the table, click on the “copy to clipboard” button.

STEP 3: Paste the data into Microsoft Excel. The data will still look a bit messy, but you can easily fix that.

STEP 4: Highlight Column A in Excel and use the “Text to Columns” button located on the Data tab.

STEP 5: When the “Convert Text to Columns” wizard opens, select “delimited,” click “Next,” select “Comma” and a double quote as the text qualifier. Click “Next” and then “Finish.”

The data will now appear in separate columns.

 

 

Why doesn’t the Digital Atlas of American Religion use FIPS codes for county identification?

We don’t use regular FIPS codes since many of the counties in historic DAAR data no longer existed at the time FIPS codes were developed. The numbers we use as county identifiers are 7-digit numbers obtained from the National Historic Geographic Information System (nhgis.org). These numbers are based on FIPS codes but are a little different in order to incorporate those counties that existed prior to FIPS codes. If you delete the third and last digit in NHGIS  codes, it equates to the 5-digit FIPS codes,  but only in cases where the county existed at a time when it could receive a FIPS code.