Dearly departed: How often do congregations close?
We establish for the first time a national mortality rate for religious congregations by determining the 2005 status of congregations in the 1998 National Congregations Study sample. The annual mortality rate for religious congregations is 1 percent, which is among the lowest mortality rates ever observed for any type of organization. This unusually low mortality rate probably indicates an organizational population whose weakest members live on in a weakened state rather than an organizational population that is unusually robust all the way down to its most vulnerable members.
Anderson, Shawna L., Jessica Hamar Martinez, Catherine Hoegeman, Gary Adler, and Mark Chaves. "Dearly departed: How often do congregations close?." Journal for the scientific study of religion 47, no. 2 (2008): 321-328.
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion