Monday, Dec 05, 2016
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Religion

What is each state's 2nd largest religion?

Christianity is by far the largest religion in the United States; more than three-quarters of Americans identify as Christians. A little more than half of us identify as Protestants, about 23 percent as Catholic and about 2 percent as Mormon.

But what about the rest of us? In the Western United States, Buddhists represent the largest non-Christian religious bloc in most states. In 20 states, mostly in the Midwest and South, Islam is the largest non-Christian faith tradition. And in 15 states, mostly in the Northeast, Judaism has the most followers after Christianity. Hindus come in second place in Arizona and Delaware, and there are more practitioners of the Baha’i faith in South Carolina than anywhere else.

The data the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies release every 10 years are revealing: Adherents to any religious faith — that is, those who actually attend religious services — make up more than half the population in 28 states. Utah has the highest percentage of adherents, at 79 percent of the population, while just over a quarter of Mainers are adherents. North Dakota, Alabama, and Louisiana are near the top of the list, while Oregon, Vermont, Alaska, Nevada, and Washington sit near the bottom of the rankings.

Catholicism dominates the Northeast and the Southwest, and Southern Baptists have a strong foothold in the South. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dominates Utah and surrounding counties in Idaho, Wyoming, and parts of Nevada. Lutheranism has a strong following in Minnesota and the Dakotas, while Methodists make their presence felt in parts of West Virginia, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas.

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