In 2013, a poll regarding religiousness in the United States produced similar results to past surveys.
The percentage of “very religious” is slightly higher than previous years: 2012, 2011 and 2008. The percentage of “nonreligious” is slightly lower in 2013 compared to past years.
According to the annual Gallup poll about the attendance and attitudes of religions in America, Vermont and Mississippi are the least and most religious states. In recent years, the majority of the most religious states have been located in the South while the least religious states are scattered around New England and the West.
Interviewing more than 174,000 people last year, with at least 500 individuals in each state, Gallup drafted its rankings based on telephone interviews from a random sample of adults 18 and older living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. These interviews measured the attendance of religious services on a weekly basis as well as how important religious values were factors in their daily lives. Those who were considered less religious claimed to have rarely or never attended any religious services and that religion was not an important factor when it came to daily life.
The top 10 religious states in the United States are clustered in the South. In first place was Mississippi as the most religious as more than 61 percent of the people attended a religious service as least once a week. More than 29 percent considered themselves as moderately religious and only 10 percent of the population accounted themselves as nonreligious. Close to first place was Utah—the state with a predominant Mormon population. The list also includes the states from the South: Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee. More than 50 percent of the Southern people were considered religious and less than 20 percent were considered nonreligious.
However, the least 10 religious states are in New England and the West. Vermont had 22 percent of its residents attend a religious service at least once a week. New Hampshire came close at 24 percent when it came to attending church services. Maine, Massachusetts and Oregon averaged to about 28 percent.
While the rankings may have changed, the trend has not as Southern states and Utah remain consistent among the top 10 list and states in New England and the West among the bottom 10.
The regional differences can be due to the higher percentage of Protestants living in the South. More than members of other faiths in the U.S., Protestants are more religious according to Gallup.
The U.S. remains a religious nation as 7 in 10 Americans classify themselves as very or moderately religious. Though the religiousness vary substantially state by state, the poll suggests an increase—rather slight—in the importance and attendance of religion and church services.