Gallup: Mississippi Is the 'Most Religious' State in the Union

February 15, 2013 - 10:15 AM

Black and Hispanic Church

This March 21, 2010 photo shows church members during a Sunday service. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(CNSNews.com) – With few exceptions, the most religious states in the country in 2012 were in the southeastern area of the United States, according to a new Gallup poll. And Mississippi led the pack as the most religious state in the country.

The assessment is based on the percentages of people in each state who considered themselves to be “very religious.”

Gallup said that 58 percent of Mississippians reported being “very religious” – a category the pollster defines as interviewees “saying religion is an important part of their daily life and that they attend religious services every week or almost every week.”

Utah -- located in the far West -- tied for second place with 56 percent of their residents respectively saying they were very religious. Louisiana and Arkansas were the fourth (53 percent) and fifth (52 percent) religious states respectively.

Top 10 Religious States (Based on Percentage Identified as “Very Religious”)

Mississippi------58 percent

Utah--------------56

Alabama---------56

Louisiana--------53

Arkansas---------52

South Carolina--52

Tennessee--------50

North Carolina--50

Georgia-----------48

Oklahoma--------48

In contrast, the least religious states in 2012 were Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, Alaska, Hawaii and Nevada.

Only 19 percent of Vermonters identified themselves as being “very religious.”

Nationwide, 40 percent of Americans were classified as religious in 2012 and 31 percent of Americans were considered “nonreligious,” meaning that “religion is not an important part of their daily life and that they seldom or never attend religious services.”

The rest were “moderately religious” (29 percent). To fall into that category, interviewees said that religious was “important in their lives” but they aren’t regularly churchgoing or that they still attend services despite religion not being important in their life.

The poll was conducted from January 1 to December 31, 2012. It had a random sample of 348, 306 adults above age 18, all living within the United States and the nation’s capitol.