Sunday, September 19, 2010

Interesting Religious Maps of the United States

I wanted to share some interesting maps and charts from the book Sociology 13th Edition by John J. Macionis. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, this book has a great review of religions around the world. I found these maps very interesting since it shows various religious concentrations throughout the country.

Take a look at this map first. This shows where most religions congregate in the country. The purple is more than 75%, the tan is 50% to 75%, the light blue is 35% to 50%, and the darker blue is less than 35%.

See any interesting results? The Midwest down to the south is a pretty religious area. Texas looks to be very religious. Check out the east and west coasts. There are some very low religious areas here. Gotta love Washington and Oregon, hardly any religion at all. I think the most obvious is Utah. It is the most religious state in the entire country.

Now take a look at the next map. The colors here break out the actual different religious sects, which happen to all be Christian. Red is Baptist, Light blue is Catholic, Tan is Non-denominational Christian, Dark blue is Latter-Day Saint, Brown is Lutheran, and Green is Methodist.

I find this map fascinating. First of all, there are maybe two tiny spots for Methodist. Lots of light blue scattered around for Catholics. New England, southern California, and southern Texas are very Catholic. I guess North Dakota and Minnesota love their Lutherans up there. Of course, we have the Bible belt completely covered by the Baptists. I cannot tell you how many Baptists churches I have seen in those areas, too many to count!

Once again, let us look at Utah. The entire state is dark blue and the dark blue has seeped into Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, and Arizona. Doesn't this just enforce the idea that the Mormon Church is a Utah church? They want to say that they are a worldwide religion, but look; they do not have hardly any numbers outside of Utah. I would be curious to see what a worldwide map would look like. Various insignificant specks of dark blue scattered about?

This final chart shows percentages of religions in the United States. Latter-Day Saint does not even show up, it is probably in the 19.4% of All others or no denomination. I wonder if the 16.5% of No religious preference includes atheists and agnostics.

Here is the source for all maps and charts.
Macionis, John J. 2010. Sociology 13th Edition. Page 503. Publisher: Pearson.

Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed these maps as much as I did. I find it very telling that the Mormon Church is so concentrated into one area of the United States while the rest of the country and world dismisses it as almost inconsequential.


  1. I like the seepage into Idaho; looks nice. Kinda like spreading bacteria!
    Most of the rest of the world hardly knows of the Mormons, let alone has the opportunity to consider it inconsequential! When your in it it seems to be so BIG. When in reality it just takes up a heap of room in a really small space! And when we step out of that space ...

  2. That is fascinating. Kinda puts a few things into perspective. Thanks.

  3. Hmm. Catholics predominate along the east coast, west coast, and US-Mexico border. I suspect that this is due to large immigrant populations in those regions.

  4. What's striking to me is the surprisingly low level of religiosity shown in much of the Atlantic coast of the South -- Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and even Georgia. A lot of that's probably due to an influx of people from the rest of the country.

    The deep-red patch in the Dakotas also helps explain the flurry of anti-abortion mania in South Dakota a couple of years ago.

    I live in Oregon, and it's not as religion-free as you might think, but yes, it's probably better than a lot of the country.

  5. I would love to see a map with declared Atheists plotted on it.

    I attended a sacrament mtg shortly before exiting the LDS Church where the bishop did a powerpoint display (it was a 5th Sunday mtg in the 3rd hour of the Sunday block). He put some interesting points up there. I can't remember the numbers but I do remember doing the math on them. The figures showed the percentage of non-members who know either nothing, a little or a lot about Mormonism. Then they showed statistics on how non-members feel about Mormons. What was hilarious to me was that when you added it up the figures revealed that basically if a non-member knew a fair amount about Mormons then chances were that they didn't think very highly of Mormons. Hahahaha, this of course was not the point that bishop was making at the time but I remember sitting there thinking "has anyone else noticed what those figures say?"

  6. Awesome post. Just goes to show how insignificant the Mormons are! Yeah! Though, they do like to cast as big of a shadow as possible...