More than one in ten Protestant churchgoers attend megachurches, according to Scott Thumma, a sociologist at the Hartford Institute for Religion Research who's been researching the trend since the 90s. "If this group of churches were a Protestant denomination," writes Thumma, "it would be the nation's second largest such group."
For his work, Thumma defines as "mega" any Protestant church that has a sustained weekly attendance of more than 2,000. As he points out, there has been a "rapid proliferation" of these kinds of congregations since the 1970s. In fact, writes Ed Stetzer at Christianity Today, "There are as many megachurches today in the greater Nashville area as there were in the entire country in 1960."
Of course, megachurches aren't proportionately placed throughout the US, as you can see by the following map, which was designed by datajournalist Jishai Evers. It's based on Thumma's most current numbers.
The number in each square shows the absolute number of megachurches in each state — California has the most, several New England states have none — while the shades of the color show the number of megachurches in each state, per capita.
As you can see, folks in the South have their fair share of megachurches to pick from. Texas alone has 207 megachurches to choose from, while Tennessee has the most megachurches per capita.
Update: This post has been corrected to show that Tennessee has the most megachurches per capita.