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Church Attendance By State: How Does Your State Stack Up?

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Utah is nicknamed the “Beehive State” because of its founding fathers’ admiration for the industriousness and perseverance of worker bees.

But a more appropriate nickname, according to a 2014 Pew Research religious study, might be the “Believe State.”

More than half of Utahans surveyed (53%) said they attend worship services at least once a week. Considering that more than 60% of Utah’s population is part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (also known as Mormonism), Utah’s top ranking in church attendance by state is not much of a surprise.

It is somewhat surprising, however, that only 61% of Utahans report they “believe in God with absolute certainty” and “pray daily.” Those numbers put Utah at 31st and 13th in the country, respectively.

Mississippi, on the other hand, was at the top of the list for both number of adults who pray daily (75%) and those who believe in God (82%), though the Magnolia State came in fourth for church attendance (49%).

The numbers show that, in general, daily prayer is not an indicator of a devoted churchgoer. On average, there was an 18.5% difference between those who reported praying on a daily basis and those who actually attended church regularly.

North Carolina had the largest disparity between those two metrics at 27%, with 66% of residents saying they prayed everyday, but only 39% claiming to go to church each week.

Alabama and Tennessee, at 51%, were the only other states in the country with a majority of respondents who said they attended church on a weekly basis, and the Bible Belt is largely the most religious region in the nation.

On the other end of the spectrum, New England is the least devout corner of the country, based on the Pew Research findings.

Massachusetts (23%), New Hampshire (22%), Maine (22%), and Vermont (21%) were the only states in the U.S. to have less than a quarter of respondents say they attend church services at least once a week.

Church attendance by state

Read on for a list of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, ranked by the percentage of adults who say they “attend worship services at least weekly.”

For reference, the percentages of respondents who said they “pray daily” or “believe in God with absolute certainty” are also included. Also note that when multiple states tied with the same church attendance percentage, they are listed in alphabetical order with the same number.

These numbers are based on a 2014 Religious Landscape Study conducted by Pew from a pool of more than 35,000 adults.

51. Vermont, 21%

Pray daily: 33%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 41%

49. Maine, 22%

Pray daily: 35%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 48%

49. New Hampshire, 22%

Pray daily: 36%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 43%

48. Massachusetts, 23%

Pray daily: 37%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 40%

47. Wisconsin, 27%

Pray daily: 46%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 56%

44. Connecticut, 28%

Pray daily: 47%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 54%

44. District of Columbia, 28%

Pray daily: 51%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 55%

44. Hawaii, 28%

Pray daily: 52%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 62%

42. New York, 29%

Pray daily: 48%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 56%

42. Oregon, 29%

Pray daily: 45%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 57%

39. Alaska, 30%

Pray daily: 49%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 55%

39. Colorado, 30%

Pray daily: 50%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 55%

39. Washington, 30%

Pray daily: 46%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 55%

35. California, 31%

Pray daily: 51%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 54%

35. Maryland, 31%

Pray daily: 51%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 64%

35. Montana, 31%

Pray daily: 51%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 64%

35. Nevada, 31%

Pray daily: 48%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 59%

33. Michigan, 33%

Pray daily: 53%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 63%

33. North Dakota, 33%

Pray daily: 51%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 64%

28. Arizona, 34%

Pray daily: 55%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 62%

28. Delaware, 34%

Pray daily: 49%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 61%

28. Illinois, 34%

Pray daily: 51%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 61%

28. Minnesota, 34%

Pray daily: 47%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 56%

28. Pennsylvania, 34%

Pray daily: 54%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 61%

25. Florida, 35%

Pray daily: 56%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 64%

25. Idaho, 35%

Pray daily: 50%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 62%

25. New Jersey, 35%

Pray daily: 53%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 60%

21. Iowa, 36%

Pray daily: 50%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 66%

21. New Mexico, 36%

Pray daily: 55%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 63%

21. Rhode Island, 36%

Pray daily: 48%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 60%

21. South Dakota, 36%

Pray daily: 56%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 69%

18. Indiana, 37%

Pray daily: 52%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 63%

18. Kansas, 37%

Pray daily: 53%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 66%

18. Missouri, 37%

Pray daily: 59%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 70%

16. Ohio, 38%

Pray daily: 57%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 67%

16. Wyoming, 38%

Pray daily: 53%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 66%

13. Kentucky, 39%

Pray daily: 63%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 75%

13. Nebraska, 39%

Pray daily: 52%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 66%

13. North Carolina, 39%

Pray daily: 66%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 73%

12. Arkansas, 41%

Pray daily: 65%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 77%

10. Georgia, 42%

Pray daily: 64%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 74%

10. Texas, 42%

Pray daily: 63%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 69%

9. Oklahoma, 43%

Pray daily: 65%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 71%

8. Virginia, 44%

Pray daily: 60%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 67%

6. Louisiana, 46%

Pray daily: 68%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 75%

6. West Virginia, 46%

Pray daily: 68%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 77%

5. South Carolina, 47%

Pray daily: 66%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 74%

4. Mississippi, 49%

Pray daily: 75%*

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 82%*

2. Alabama, 51%

Pray daily: 73%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 82%*

2. Tennessee, 51%

Pray daily: 70%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 78%

1. Utah, 53%

Pray daily: 61%

Believe in God with absolute certainty: 61%

*Highest percentage in the country.

More numbers?

If you enjoyed this piece, and are now hungry for more numbers, check out The United States of Software, which maps the most reviewed software in all 50 states and D.C.

Surprisingly, church management software was not the most reviewed product in Utah, or any other state for that matter.

Instead it was time-clock software TSheets, which—after all— is a fine representation of the Beehive State.

Interestingly enough, our research found that church management software was the most popular category in Iowa, Louisiana, Tennessee, and even New Hampshire, showing that church attendance numbers by state have little bearing on the demand for church management software.

Maybe New Hampshire church planters are enlisting technology to get people back out to church on Sunday?

Looking for Church Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Church Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Andrew Conrad

Andrew is a content writer for Capterra, specializing in church management and project management software. When he’s not striving for the perfect balance of information and entertainment, Andrew enjoys the great outdoors and the wide world of sports. Follow him on Twitter @CapterraAC.

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