Which Religion Takes the Silver Medal in Your State?

Source: 2010 U.S. Religion Census, sponsored by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies Click for larger version.

Source: 2010 U.S. Religion Census, sponsored by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies
Click for larger version.

When it comes to religion, approximately three-quarters of Americans (77 percent, according to Gallup) identify themselves as Christians. You may be wondering what the “runner-up” religions are in your state and that means you might have missed a study recently discussed in The Washington Post and at NPR.

America looks very different when one only takes into consideration the second-most popular religions in each state. Hinduism, for example, is the second largest religion in Arizona and Baha’i in South Carolina. NPR offers some interesting comment on what this means.

The map — created by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies and published recently in The Washington Post — “looks very odd to me,” says Hillary Kaell. She is a professor at Concordia University in Montreal who specializes in North American Christianity. “These numbers, although they look impressive when laid out in the map, represent a very tiny fraction of the population in any of the states listed.”…a deeper look into the stories behind the map’s data reveal a bit more about a nation in flux…

“…This poll might also speak to the lack of religious diversity in Arizona, since I believe Hindus still only make up around 2 percent of the overall population of Arizona residents.” (Read full story at NPR.)

If you want to know more about the study and see the breakdowns of other religious groups, including Catholics and Southern Baptists (come on, you know you do), see The Washington Post’s, The second largest religion in each state.”

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