Survey: Louisiana is the 4th most religious state

The Town Talk, Louisiana/January 6, 2010

Louisiana is the fourth most religious state in the nation, according to new report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The report ranked states by the importance of religion in the daily lives of its residents, along with the frequency of prayer and worship attendance.

The 10 most religious states, from the top, are: Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky.

The 10 least religious states, from the bottom, are: New Hampshire and Vermont (tie), Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island (tie), Colorado, Oregon and New York.

Other findings in the report include:

More than one-quarter of American adults (28 percent) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion - or no religion at all.

The number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (16.1 percent) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children.

Among Americans ages 18 through 29, one in four say they are not affiliated with any particular religion.

Men are significantly more likely than women to claim no religious affiliation. Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation, compared with roughly 13% of women.

Among people who are married, nearly four in ten (37 percent) are married to a spouse with a different religious affiliation.

Mormons and Muslims are the groups with the largest families; more than one-in-five Mormon adults and 15 percent of Muslim adults in the U.S. have three or more children living at home.

The Midwest most closely resembles the religious makeup of the overall population.

The South, by a wide margin, has the heaviest concentration of members of evangelical Protestant churches.

The Northeast has the greatest concentration of Catholics.

The West has the largest proportion of unaffiliated people, including the largest proportion of atheists and agnostics.

Of all the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States, black Americans are the most likely to report a formal religious affiliation.

Jehovah's Witnesses have the lowest retention rate of any religious tradition; 37 percent of all those who say they were raised as Jehovah's Witnesses still identify themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses.

Members of Baptist churches account for one-third of all Protestants and close to one-fifth of the total U.S. adult population.

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