We know it’s not the 10 Commandments, but it is a definitive top 10. The most religious states in America were:
You might be surprised at a few of these, but then again, you might have at least expected our No. 1. If you’re curious where all the states ranked, check out our cool map above, and find out where your home placed in piousness. And if you’re curious about just how we judged how religious a place was, just look to our next section, where we’ll go over our methodology.
How We Created This Ranking
In order to get these results, we turned to a source we kind of worship: The U.S. Census. Using the 2010 report, we gathered data in the following criteria:
- Percentage of population that identifies as religious
- Places of worship per capita
- Percentage of people that regularly visit a place of worship
And, just for good measure, from the largest social network:
- Percentage of population that Likes prayer on Facebook
We didn’t single out any particular religions when finding this data, so if someone reported as being religious or praying, we counted it.
Once we had our data, we ranked each place in each criterion from one to 50, with scores closer to one being the best.
Then, we averaged each state’s rankings together into one Big Deal Score. The place with the best lowest score was our most religious state, and that happened to be Mississippi.
Let’s take a moment to examine why each state in our top 10 ranked where it did.
1. Mississippi: Where Liking Religion Is A Way Of life
Mississippi is really, really religious, and that’s all there is to it. If your first hint wasn’t the highest percent of people who Like prayer on Facebook, there should have been a few other clues.
For example, over half the people in the state identified as religious in some way, and half of those people regularly attended some sort of service or place of worship.
Top all that off with the third highest places of worship per capita, and it’s easy to see why Mississippi is queen of the religious states.
2. Alabama: The Heart Of Dixie And Worship
Alabamians aren’t afraid to show off their religious pride. With the second-highest percent of Facebook Likes for prayer and the third-highest number of people who attend places of worship regularly, it’s pretty obvious that there’s no shame in being spiritual around these parts.
It also didn’t hurt this state’s rankings that the sixth-highest number of places of worship call this place home.
So no matter where in Alabama you live, you should be able to find a place to worship your way.
3. North Dakota: Legendary For Religious Love
No matter what religion you follow, you’re probably not alone in North Dakota.
More than 56 percent of people here identified as religious, and more than 67 percent of those people attended a place of worship regularly. The state ranked first and second in those categories, respectively.
Those arent the only stellar spiritual scores here, however. This state also had the 10th most Facebook Likes for prayer, and the fifth most places of worship per capita.
4. Arkansas: The Natural State For Spiritual Folks
Arkansas had the second most places of worship per capita, so it shouldn’t be hard to mingle with the other 48 percent of the population that identifies as religious.
However, this state had only the 13th highest number of of people who regularly attend a place of worship.
It might be that more folks here are content to believe what they believe and pray in their own homes. After all, this place did have the fourth highest number of prayer Likes on our list.
5. South Dakota: Great Places. Great Faces. Great Churches
South Dakota is ideal for finding a new place of worship to call your own. With the fourth most per capita on our list, it should be easy to try out a few and find one that’s right for you.
You’ll be in good company, as this state had the ninth most religious people on our list, and the seventh-highest percentage of them that attended places of worship regularly.
That’s probably why South Dakota had only the 15th most facebook Likes for prayer: they’re all out actually doing it rather than sitting at their computers.
6. Louisiana: Worshipers Paradise
The South continues to represent with our No. 6 state, Louisiana.
While it might not have as many places of worship per capita, ranking only 23rd, it definitely made up for it with how many devout folks regularly attended those places of worship.
Over 60 percent of those folks regularly headed to their local place of worship to pray their way.
Speaking of praying, people here certainly weren’t afraid to show their pride in religion, even online. For its very high percentage of the population that Liked prayer on Facebook, Louisiana ranked fifth.
7. Tennessee: They’ll Gladly Volunteer A Religious “Like”
For those looking for a state that’s proud of its religion, you’ve come to the right place.
Tennessee locals were quick to show their love of worship with the sixth most Likes for prayer on Facebook. That makes sense considering there were so many places of worship around, the ninth most on our list.
The scores for religious-identifying people and the percentage of folks who regularly attended services weren’t anything to scoff at, either. Tennessee ranked 11th and 12th respectively in those categories.
8. Oklahoma: Natives Love To Go To Worship
While Oklahomans may not be showing their faith as much on Facebook, only ranking 16th for prayer Likes, they certainly enjoy their places of worship.
The fifth-highest percent of folks visited the eighth most places of worship we looked at.
Of course, there were a lot of religious people here in general. Oklahoma had the 12th-highest percent of the population that identified themselves as religious, at a quite respectable 45 percent.
9. South Carolina: Smiling Faces, Most Of Them Religious
If you run into someone in South Carolina, at random, chances are they identify as religious.
Over half the population here claimed they had some form of spiritual belief, something that should also be indicated by the eighth-highest number of people who Liked prayer on facebook.
While not everyone here went to services, the 20th most on our list, there were still quite a few places one could go to pray, meditate, or worship.
In fact, this state had the 13th highest number of places of worship per capita on our entire list.
10: North Carolina: A Better Place To Be For Prayer
Finishing just barely behind their Southern neighbors, North Carolinians are pretty proud of their religion. So proud, in fact, that many of them Liked prayer on facebook, the third most in our rankings.
The places of worship here ranked 17th, there was a high percentage of people who attended places of worship regularly, and the 13th-highest percent of religious people called this place home.
North Carolina may be last in our top 10, but it’s hardly last in the way of worship.
Holy Moly, These States Are Religious
If you’ve ever wondered where the most devout and spiritual states are, now you know.
Whatever these people choose to believe in, they believe it the loudest, proudest, and most devotedly, so hats off to these top 10 (especially if you’re headed to a place of worship).
We know that religion can be a very sensitive topic, and that it can be easy to step on some toes when discussing it. Please keep that in mind and try to be respectful and polite as you comment below.