Utah 2nd most religious state in nation

By Celeste Tholen Rosenlof | Posted - Feb 15th, 2013 @ 7:45am

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is one of the most religious states in the union, second only to Mississippi.

A Gallup poll found that Utah held its ranking as the second most religious state in the nation from 2011 to 2012. Defining "very religious" as considering religion an important part of a their daily lives and attending religious services almost every week, 56 percent of Utahns considered themselves very religious.

Nationally, 40 percent of Americans classified themselves as very religious; 31 percent of Americans say they are non-religious.

Gallup concluded that a state's overall religiousness could affect an individual's religiousness.

Religiosity by state, 2012
Mississippi: 58%
Utah: 56%
Alabama: 56%
Louisiana: 53%
Arkansas: 52%
South Carolina: 52%
Tennessee: 50%
North Carolina: 50%
Georgia: 48%
Oklahoma: 48%

"Migrants who cross state lines could be socialized into the religious patterns of the states to which they move," Gallup wrote. "In other words, it can be hypothesized that a person moving to Mississippi is more likely to become personally more religious than if that same person moved to Vermont.

"Some evidence suggests there has been more migration to religious states than to non-religious states over the past decade or so. If that is the case, and if it continues, it's possible that this will effectively increase the overall level of religiosity in the nation, or at least moderate a decrease in religiousness."

According to Gallup, all responses were within one percentage point of those in 2011. The Top 10 most-religious states also saw no change in their rank orders.

The Top 10 least-religious list, however, changed with the addition of Hawaii and the removal of New York.

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