Georgia places in top ten of most religious states in America


church, hymnal, piano, sanctuary As part of the Bible Belt, it should come as no surprise that Georgia recently placed in the top ten of four different criteria used in a Pew Research Study to determine the country's most religious states. SCOTT BARKLEY/Index

A recent Pew Research study places Georgia as the eighth most-religious state in the country, tying with Oklahoma.

Four criteria were used to determine a state’s devotion to religion: worship attendance, prayer frequency, belief in God, and how one would describe the importance of religion in his or her life. Subjects being termed as “highly religious” earned that distinction through responding to a high degree of the four base criteria while exhibiting no lower levels of religious observances in the other areas. In other words, a respondent who claimed a high devotion to attending worship services and a belief in God would not be counted if they also gave a low indication of observing daily prayer.

Georgia’s neighbors of Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina all ranked in the top five, with Alabama labeled the most religious state. In Alabama and Mississippi, 77% of residents tested out as highly religious. The least religious states were New Hampshire (33%), Massachusetts (33%), Vermont (34%), and Maine (34%), with about 1 in 5 of respondents saying they attend religious services weekly and no more than half saying they are certain of God’s existence.

In the four criteria Georgia had its highest individual ranking, seventh, with 64% of respondents saying religion was very important to them and eighth (74%) in those indicating a belief in God with absolute certainty. The Peach State placed tenth in the amount of respondents who said they attend worship services at least weekly (42%) and those who say they pray daily (64%).

Alabama ranked highest in “Importance of Religion” (77%) and “Belief in God” (82%) while Utah had the most devoted of weekly worshippers (53%) and Mississippians took the top spot of those who prayed daily (75%).

More data on individual states can be viewed here. The report follows Pew’s Religious Landscape Study, released last November.

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