I always like to see polls about the different levels of religiosity among the different states in the U.S. On Monday, Gallup issued what seems to be an annual measurement of this. The actual headline on Gallup's website report is "Mississippi Most Religious State, Vermont Least Religious/Average religiousness of states continues to range widely."
Generally, in my experience, the Northeast vies with the Northwest in being the least religious part of the country. The South is usually most religious, followed by the Midwest.
The top five most religious: Mississippi, Utah, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina. The top five least religious: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon.
According to Gallup, "These state-by-state results are based on more than 174,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking in 2013, including more than 500 interviews conducted in each state and 442 in the District of Columbia."
"Gallup classifies Americans as very religious if they say religion is an important part of their daily lives and that they attend religious services every week or almost every week. More than four in 10 Americans nationwide (41%) fit this classification in 2013. "
Some 29 percent of Americans said religion is not an iimportant part of their daily lives and that they seldom or never attend religious services. The remaining 29 percent said were defined as "moderately religious, saying religion is important in their lives but that they do not attend services regularly, or that religion is not important but that they still attend services," according to Gallup.
So nationally, according to the poll, 70 percent of Americans are either very or moderately religious. For Mississippi, the total of very and moderately religious adds up to 90 percent, with 10 percent non-religious. Compartively for Vermont, the total of very and moderately religious adds up to 43 percent, with 56 percent non-religious.
Interestingly, Ohio, the political bellweather state in presidential elections came in 25th in most religious at 42 percent of people described as very religious. This is, of course, right smack dab in the middle of our total of 50 states, pretty much where you would expect it to be.
Neighborhing New York came in 11th, just out of the top 10 of fewest described as very religious, at 34 percent of people described as very religious. California and Rhode Island also came in at 34 percent in this measurement.
This column originally ran on the World of Faith blog at Blog Southern Vermont. Mark Rondeau is the Religion Editor of the Banner. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter @banner_religion