By the Numbers: Scientologists in the Clearwater Community
By the Numbers: Scientologists
in the Clearwater Community
Since the Church moved its spiritual headquarters to Clearwater in 1976, Scientologists have become an integral part of the community. Not only do they travel from all over the world for extended stays while participating in religious services, many Church members and families have made Clearwater their home. The presence of the Church generates thousands of jobs, boosting the economy and revitalizing the area. Independent studies on the overall economic impact of the Church found its presence had a decisively positive effect. At the end of the 1990s, the Church and its members accounted for 5.4 percent of the area’s sales, 10.7 percent of its employment and 3.4 percent of area income. While direct spending by Scientologists totaled almost $100 million, the Church’s greater impact on the Clearwater economy was estimated at almost half a billion dollars which, in turn, generated more than 5,000 jobs. The studies reported that without the Church’s stabilizing presence, the entire city would be far less viable economically. Today, 10 years later, the economic influence of Scientologists in the community is commensurately higher.
- 9,523 Scientologists live in the Tampa Bay area.
- There are 22 Church of Scientology facilities in downtown Clearwater.
- The Church is the largest property taxpayer in downtown Clearwater, paying nearly $1 million in property taxes last year.
- 1,500 Church staff provide religious services at the Scientology facilities in downtown Clearwater.
- 8.2 percent of Clearwater’s population are Scientologists.