Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

Religion Is Worth A LOT To The Economy

It's more than Apple and Microsoft make in a year –– combined.

By Ryan Biek | September 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.

Article Continues Below

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.

Want to see more stories like this?
Like Newsy on Facebook for More Religion Coverage