Religiosity (participation in organized religion) in Erie County is measured every other year by the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS). Ten out of 13 public schools participated in Erie County in 2013. In the spring of 2014, youth across Erie County were asked to participate in a survey about their religious participation and history. Of those, 428 students participated.
The survey utilized a random sample and was available in both hard copy and online formats. Surveys were available at a variety of community organizations, as well as distributed by a variety of community members and team members. Two students from Mercyhurst University assisted with survey distribution and collection as a class project. Allison Satyshur and Lindsey Gotkin coordinated surveys to be taken and collected from various charter schools within the Perseus House system, as well as a large number of juveniles on probation. Some local religious youth groups distributed and collected surveys at youth events. Positive Youth Development provided opportunities to take the survey at the 2014 Youth Summit. Survey distribution also consisted of emails, twitter, and Facebook. Over 1,000 hard copy surveys were distributed. Please note that this survey at no point asked specific religious affiliation. Therefore, it was left up to students themselves to define organized religion.