Most And Least Religious Cities In America (PHOTOS)

05/18/2012 08:36 am ET | Updated May 19, 2012

Click through the slideshow to see most and least religious cities in the United States:

Most and Least Religious Cities

A study measuring religious bodies in the United States called the, “2010 U.S. Religious Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study (RCMS)” was recently released by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB). The most comprehensive study of its kind, it provides detailed county by county information on congregations, members, adherents and attendance for 236 different faiths groups. (The survey differentiates between specific denominations within the same tradition.)

Of metropolitan areas with population greater than a million, the researchers found Salt Lake City to be the most religious city with close to 74 percent identifying as a religious adherent. The researchers found the greater area of Portland, OR-WA to be the least religious city with about 32 percent identifying as a religious adherent.

The researchers define adherents to be those with an affiliation to a congregation including children, members and attendees who are not members, and believe that the adherent measure is the most complete and comparable across religious groups. As the chart below shows, more than 54 percent of adherents were from metropolitan areas with population of a million and above.

000metrocharts

In general, cities where more than 75 percent identified as a religious adherent were in the deep South and in the Midwest. Cities where less than 35 percent identified as a religious adherent were in the West and in the Northeast.

rcms penetration

Bibliography:
Grammich, Clifford, Kirk Hadaway, Richard Houseal, Dale E. Jones, Alexei Krindatch, Richie Stanley, and Richard H. Taylor, 2012. 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study. Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies.

Most and Least Religious States (From Gallup)

Top 10 Most and Least Religious States
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