A Gallup Poll has found that for the second straight year, Utah is the second most religious state in America, following #1, Mississippi.  Eight out of ten of the most religious states in the Union are in the South, while the most irreligious states are in the northeast.  Oklahoma is tenth on the list and is considered part of the American mid-West.

The poll determined religiosity by asking how often people attend religious services and whether they consider religion very important.  Fifty-eight percent of people in Mississippi attend church nearly every week and consider themselves very religious.   The study was based on interviews with nearly 350,000 people.  [1]

This 2012 Gallup study showed little change from 2011 — within one percentage point.

There are a number of explanations for the substantial differences in religiousness across the states of the union, but analysis included in the recent book God Is Alive and Well shows that the differences are not accounted for by state demographics such as race and ethnicity, or — with the exception of Utah — by the type of religion that predominates in each state. More likely the differences reflect regional cultural traditions. [2]

Mormon Temple UtahSome of the comments on the Deseret News article reporting on the study asked if Utah really wanted to be equated with the states in the deep south of America, where education and economic levels are lower than elsewhere in the country.  Other polls and studies have shown, however, that Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is unlike virtually all other religions in the world, in that the most religious are also the most educated.  Utah is also at the top of the list for volunteerism and general giving.  It is also the one religious state with a very low rate of teen pregnancy and other ills associated with low-income populations.  Gallup’s “State of the States” Series investigates well-being in each of the fifty states.

Forty percent of all Americans consider themselves “very religious.”  Other polls by Gallup and The Pew Forum have found that Mormons are the most active in their faith and Jews the least, especially measuring by attendance at religious services.  The state of Utah is presently about 62% Mormon, which is near the percentage of Mormons in the Salt Lake City area.  Smaller towns in Utah tend to have a larger percentage of Mormons, and Summit County, the location of major ski areas, is down around 36%.

Along the Wasatch Front, where the larger Utah cities are located, members of various faiths tend to work together on special projects and presentations, from humanitarian aid to choir performances.

The states with the highest populations of Mormons are those clustered around Utah, where Mormons first settled — Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, and Southern California.

Additional Resources:

More about Utah

More about Religiosity among Mormons

Basic Mormon Beliefs and Real Mormons

About Gale
Gale is a former fibro and CMP sufferer. She hopes this information will help other sufferers on their journey to good health.

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