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POLL: Mississippi most religious state in the U.S.; Vermont, the least

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 5th, 2014
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

According to a recent Gallup poll, Mississippi is the most religious state in the continental United States. Ten of the U.S.'s most religious states were in the South. The state of Vermont was deemed to be the least religious. New England and the West generally have the least religious states.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When Gallup started tracking these measures in 2008, the majority of the most religious states have been clustered in the South.

In order to create the designations between the most and least religious states, people were considered very religious if they said religion was an important part of their daily lives and they attended religious services every week or almost every week. Those who were considered not religious said they rarely or never attended religious services and religion was not a part of their daily lives.

Remember Saint Patrick with this visor clip --

Mississippi is by far the most religious state, with 61 percent of its residents attending religious services at least once a week in 2013. The exception was Utah, which has a predominantly Mormon population and came in as the second most religious state. The list of religious states in the South also includes Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee. At least 54 percent of the people polled there were deemed very religious.

The 10 least religious states reside in New England and the West. In Vermont, 22 percent of residents attend church services at least once a week; followed by New Hampshire, with 24 percent; Maine, 27 percent; Massachusetts, 28 percent; and Oregon, 31 percent.

While the rankings have changed each year, the broad trend has not, Gallup officials say. Southern states and Utah remain consistently among the 10 most religious and states in New England and the West remain among the 10 least religious.

According to Gallup, the reasons behind the regional differences can partially be attributed to the higher percentage of Protestants living in the South, Gallup said, because Protestants are more religious than members of other faiths in the U.S.

The New England states have a higher percentage of those with no religious identity at all, and these residents are of course much lower than average on the religiousness scale.

Mormons are the most religious of any category or denomination Gallup routinely measures. Utah's majority Mormon population clearly explains why Utah stands out so remarkably from its much less religious neighboring states.

Overall, the U.S. remains a religious nation -- with about seven in 10 Americans classified as very or moderately religious.

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