How Religious is your State?

Perhaps the title should be How Religious (or not) is your State?

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public life has released a new report on religion in the United States. I was not surprised by the findings as religion seems to be taking a back seat in our society that is becoming more and more secular. There is a need for religion and more so now than ever before.

A few different questions were asked. Importance of Religion, Worship Attendance, Frequency of Prayer, Belief in God. I will use my State of Massachusetts as an example as well as the state that is top in each category. The interesting this is some states have been combined because of a low sample rate. So the total number is not 50 but rather 46. I will give the top and bottom and Massachusetts. The entire report can he found here.

Importance of Religion: Percentage of those who say religion is important to them.

National Average ~ 56%

1 Mississippi ~ 82%
44 Massachusetts ~ 40%
46 NH/Vermont ~ 36%

Worship Attendance: Percentage of those who say they attend church at least once per week.

National Average ~ 39%

1 Mississippi ~ 60%
39 Massachusetts ~ 30%
46 Alaska ~ 22%

Frequency of Prayer – Percentage of people who say they pray at least once per day.

National Average ~ 58%

1 Mississippi ~ 77%
45 Massachusetts ~ 41%
46 Maine ~ 40%

Belief in God – Percent who say they believe in God with absolute certainty

National Average ~ 71%

1 Mississippi ~ 91%
43 Massachusetts ~ 60%
46 NH/Vermont ~ 54%

Some very interesting percentages. For example 60% of the people in Massachusetts say the believe in God with absolute certainty but only 41% pray and only 30% attend church. There is little surprise that Mississippi topped the list in all the categories. The Southern Part of the US is far more religious then the North. If you look at the charts associated with the report you will see that the Southern states top the list and the Northern ones are at the bottom.

So those of us in the North have much work to do.

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