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State of the States: Church Attendance

Sponsor: Gallup
Released: 2010-02

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Like the 2009 State of the States report measuring the importance of religion, Gallup’s compilation of church attendance data is based on more than 350,000 interviews conducted among national adults, aged 18 and older, across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2009. Mississippians were the most frequent churchgoers in the nation in 2009, as was the case in 2008, with 63% of residents attending weekly or almost every week. Nine of the top 10 states in church attendance are in the South; the only non-Southern state is Utah, with 56% frequent attendance. At the other end of the spectrum, 23% of Vermont residents attend church frequently, putting it at the bottom of the list of churchgoing states. Other states at the bottom of the church attendance list are in either New England or the West.

Despite the generally high degree of geographic mobility in the U.S. in recent decades, and the commonality of experience brought about by exposure to mass media and the Internet, substantial state differences in churchgoing behavior persist.