In an article published by the Washington Post, data analyst Niraj Chokshi displayed information taken from the 2010 US Religion Census on a series of maps of the United States. The results are incredibly interesting, as the map gives a visual sense of how the country’s various religions are spread across the states and other regions.
The maps contain details that some might find surprising, such as the fact that religious Muslims outnumber religious Jews 5:1 in states like Florida and Georgia, and that lack of religious affiliation is increasingly common in several counties throughout the country.
Some of the maps, on the other hand, reaffirm more obvious trends in American religion. The Catholic Church comprises the majority of individuals reporting religious affiliation, for instance, with large populations congregated in the Southwest and the Northeast. The Southern states such as Alabama, Oklahoma, Missouri, Virginia, Mississippi, the Carolinas and Tennessee are primarily Southern Baptist. Mormonism dominates Utah and the surrounding areas. Other maps displayed in the article include one that demonstrates religious diversity by county, as well as one that demonstrates religious participation by county.
Although the maps demonstrate interesting facts about the US religion distribution, the statistics used by Chokshi do not actually stem from the official US Census, which is forbidden from asking individuals their religious affiliation. Instead, Chokshi drew from the US Religious Census, from which congregations report their own statistics, according to the Telegraph.
Still, the maps do display interesting patterns in religious distribution, participation and affiliation throughout the country. The study was sponsored by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies.