Click through the slideshow to see most and least Catholic states in the United States:

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  • Massachusetts

    44,905 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Rhode Island

    44330 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • New Jersey

    36,799 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Connecticut

    35056 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • New York

    32443 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Illinois

    28439 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • New Mexico

    28407 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Pennsylvania

    27578 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • California

    27469 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Louisiana

    26490 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Wisconsin

    25,066 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • North Dakota

    24,881 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • New Hampshire

    23,626 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Minnesota

    21,689 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Vermont

    20,503 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Nebraska

    20,414 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Delaware

    20,328 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Texas

    18,586 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Hawaii

    18,350 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • South Dakota

    18,286 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Michigan

    17,375 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Ohio

    17,272 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Nevada

    16,703 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Iowa

    16514 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Colorado

    16138 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Kansas

    14952 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Arizona

    14549 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Maryland

    14503 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Maine

    14311 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Florida

    13371 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Montana

    12898 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • District of Columbia

    12622 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Missouri

    12094 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Washington

    11664 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Indiana

    11532 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Wyoming

    10862 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Oregon

    10408 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Virginia

    8422 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Kentucky

    8291 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Idaho

    7872 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Alaska

    7162 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Georgia

    6156 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Utah

    5793 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • West Virginia

    5173 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Oklahoma

    4756 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Arkansas

    4206 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Alabama

    4198 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • North Carolina

    4121 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • South Carolina

    3929 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Mississippi

    3791 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

  • Tennessee

    3504 Catholic adherents per 100,000 people.

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.)

Slightly more than 58.9 million Catholic adherents and 20,589 congregations were reported in 2,960 counties across the country. The researchers found Massachusetts to be the most Catholic state with around 44.9 percent of population identifying as Catholic adherents. The researchers found Tennessee to be the least Catholic state with only 3.5 percent identifying as Catholic adherents.

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. Congregations are defined as groups of people who meet regularly at a pre-announced time and location.

As the map below shows, except for a few scattered counties in the West and in the Bible belt, the rest of the country uniformly has at least 5 percent of Catholic adherents.

catholic states penetration

As far as Catholic congregations are concerned, the highest concentration is in the Northeastern and parts of the Midwest.

catholic states congregation location

Interestingly, the largest Catholic churches are now in the West. In 2010, Catholic churches in the West reported an average of approximately 4,200 members. Thirty years ago, Catholic churches in the West had slightly less than 2000 members on average, meaning that churches in the West have grown by over 100 percent in the last 30 years. Catholic churches in the South have also grown about 67 percent in the same time period.

catholic church west

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.

For a list of most and least religious cities, click here.

For a list of most and least interfaith cities, click here.

For a list of most and least Christian states, click here.

For a list of most and least Mormon states, click here.

For a list of most and least Jewish states, click here.

For a list of most and least Muslim states, click here.


Most and least religious states (Gallup)

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  • #1: Mississippi (59 percent)

  • #2 Utah (57 percent)

  • #3 Alabama (56 percent)

  • #4 Louisiana (54 percent)

  • #5 Arkansas (54 percent)

  • #6 South Carolina (54 percent)

  • #7 Tennessee (52 percent)

  • #8 North Carolina (50 percent)

  • #9 Georgia (48 percent)

  • #10 Oklahoma (48 percent)

  • #51 Vermont (23 percent)

  • #50 New Hampshire (23 percent)

  • #49 Maine (25 percent)

  • #48 Massachusetts (28 percent)

  • #47 Alaska (28 percent)

  • #46 Oregon (30 percent)

  • #45 Nevada (30 percent)

  • #44 Washington (30 percent)

  • #43 Connecticut (31 percent)

  • #42 District of Columbia (32 percent)

  • #42 New York (32 percent)

  • #42 Rhode Island (32 percent)