Gallup reports that Mississippi is the most religious state in the union with 59% of its residents classified as “very religious.”
Gallup classifies 40% of Americans nationwide as very religious — based on their statement that religion is an important part of their daily life and that they attend religious services every week or almost every week. Another 32% of Americans are nonreligious, based on their statement that religion is not an important part of their daily life and that they seldom or never attend religious services. The remaining 28% of Americans are moderately religious, because they say religion is important but that they do not attend services regularly or because they say religion is not important but still attend services.
Fifty percent of North Carolinians are classified as very religious, making it the eighth most religious state. Twenty-one percent are said to be nonreligious.
What does it mean? Gallup suggests that the most religious states are also the most Republican. And the polling firm says that states with more “moderately religious” residents will be presidential battlegrounds. That doesn’t apply particularly well to North Carolina, which voted for President Obama in 2008 and is shaping up to be a key swing state.
The 50% “very religious” figure may help explain the intense feelings residents have on the same-sex marriage ban amendment. (Religious people interpret the Biblical references to marriage and homosexuality in different ways.)
By the way, the state with the most nonreligious residents? Vermont.
— John Robinson