Crunchy Vermont and conservative Mississippi are, respectively, the least and most religious states in the U.S., according to an annual Gallup poll about Americans’ religious attitudes released Monday. Since 2008, when Gallup first started tracking these measures, the majority of the most religious states have been clustered in the South, while New England and the West have the least religious states.
Gallup created its ranking of the most and least religious states based on interviews with more than 174,000 people in 2013, at least 500 in each U.S. state and 442 in D.C. People were considered “very religious” if they said religion was an important part of their daily lives and that 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.
The top 10 most religious states in the U.S. were primarily located in the South. Mississippi is the most religious, with 61 percent of its residents attending religious services at least once a week in 2013. The list of religious states from the South also included Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee, where at least 54 percent of the people were “very religious.” The exception was Utah, where the population is predominantly Mormon, and came in second most religious state behind Mississippi.
On the other end of the spectrum, the top 10 least religious states were in New England and the West. In Vermont, just 22 percent of residents attend church services at least once a week; followed by New Hampshire, at 24 percent; Maine at 27 percent; Massachusetts at 28 percent and Oregon at 31 percent.