Although Episcopalians constitute less than 2 percent of the country's population - official church membership is set at 3.1 million members - their social and economic impact is rivaled by few other groups, if any.
Church belong to households that earn more than
$100,000. The high-earning individuals the U.S. society also include members of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church, and the Presbyterian Church,
Whether or not the bishops and archbishops care to acknowledge this matter, this has been the case since the settlement of Jamestown, which was, of course, basically an Anglican undertaking. Perhaps more to the point, it has been even more the case over the last century, with little evidence of slippage despite some falloffs in church membership in recent years and generally homogenization of the American people.
Episcopalians are represented disproportionately in America's social aristocracy, and their mores and ways, even their religion, are frequently adopted by non-Episcopalians. More significantly, and more quantifiably, Episcopalians tend to be considerably wealthier and better educated than most other religious groups in Americans - Jews are a major exception -and are disproportionately represented in the upper reaches of American business, law and politics, expecially the Republican Party. Ratios of Achievement
While only two of every 100 Americans are Episcopalians, one of every seven members of the 97th Congress belongs to the church. Similarly, two of the 14 Cabinet members are Episcopalians.
A study by Fortune magazine several years ago found that one of every five of the country's largest businesses was run by an Episcopalian. Of the country's largest and most powerful banks, one in three was headed by an Episcopalian.
According to a recent Gallup poll, one of every two Episcopalians earns more than $20,000 a year, as against one of every five Americans generally. Almost half of all Episcopalians are either in business or in one of the professions, about double the rate for other Americans and, while almost half of all Episcopalians go to college, fewer than one in three other Americans go to college.
Two-thirds of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Episcopalians. Untold numbers of Vanderbilts and Astors, Whitneys and Morgans, Harrimans and Peabodys have been - and are - Episcopalians.
million dollars in networth, compared to only
2% of Baptists and 4% of Catholics.