Posts Tagged ‘Geography of American religion’

The geography of American religion

February 22, 2011

Double click map to enlarge

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.

Double click map to enlarge

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.

[Update 5/1/2018]  Below is a map showing the interplay of religion and ethnicity.  It’s based on more recent census data than the others.  The distribution of mainline and evangelical Protestants is different from what I would have assumed, as is the large number of Hispanic Protestants.

Double click to enlarge. Source: Philip Kearney Cartography

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).