Maps of Religious Life in U.S. Show Catholic, Baptist Domination

Maps constructed based on the “2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study” show that the Catholic Church and Southern Baptist Convention dominate religious life in the United States.

The Bible Belt—the area bounded by Missouri to the north, northern Texas to the west, the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and the Atlantic ocean to the east—has more Southern Baptists than any other religious group. Catholicism has the largest number of adherents in the rest of the country, except for three much smaller areas: Utah and its surrounding area, which are predominantly Mormon; pockets of the upper Midwest, which are predominantly Evangelical Lutheran; and scattered pockets across the middle of the Midwest, which are devoted to the United Methodist Church.

Of the non-Christian religions, the most widely spread is Islam, which is the largest non-Christian religion in 20 mostly Midwestern and Southern states. Judaism ranks second as the largest non-Christian denomination in fifteen states, largely in the Northeast, while Buddhism is the largest in thirteen states, preponderantly in the West. Hinduism predominates in Delaware and Arizona, and the Baha’i are the largest in South Carolina.

The most religiously diverse states are in the Western states and New England states, while the central United States, the South, and Utah are more uniform. The areas of greatest religious participation—adherents per capita—are in the upper Midwest, the South, and Utah. Parts of California, Hawaii, and Nevada are the least religious areas.


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