I don’t remember if it was Voltaire who said that having many different religious denominations was a good thing for a nation, and having just one religion was bad, but the worst thing was to have two. The religious diversity of the United States is one reason for our heritage of religious freedom. It would be too bad if our diverse religious traditions shook down to just two – religious political conservatives and religious political liberals.
Part of our diversity is the freedom to be nonreligious, or to be religious in your own way without belonging to an organized group. Diversity helps safeguard that freedom.
Click on Glenmary Research Center for the source of the information in these maps.
Below are maps of the U.S. distribution of Christian denominations with high local concentrations, followed by maps of the U.S. distribution of Jews, Muslims and Unitarian Universalists. Only four U.S. religious groups have regional concentrations where they represent more than half the population – Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, Lutherans and Latter-Day Saints (Mormons).
Click on Map Gallery of Religion for links to maps showing U.S. distribution of additional religious groups.
[Update 8/14/12] For the sake of completeness and to provide backup, I’ve added the other maps from the Map Gallery, except for a set giving a breakdown of the various Lutheran sects in the United States.