By Aaron Earls
New Hampshire is known for having the first presidential primary in each election cycle, but the Granite State is last in terms of religious residents.
Only 20 percent of New Hampshire is very religious, according to the most recent rankings released by Gallup. Individuals are considered very religious if they say religion is important to them and attend services every week or almost every week.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mississippi is considered the most religious state with 63 percent of the state being very religious.
The most religious states are still most frequently in the South. Along with Mississippi, the majority of seven other states are very religious: Alabama (57 percent), Utah (55 percent), Louisiana (54 percent), Tennessee (53 percent), Arkansas (52 percent), Georgia (51 percent), and South Carolina (51 percent).
The states with the fewest religious residents are consistently on the northern corners of the country. In addition to New Hampshire, there are five other states where fewer than 3 in 10 people are very religious: Vermont (22 percent), Maine (26 percent), Massachusetts (27 percent), Oregon (29 percent), and Washington (29 percent).
Perhaps surprisingly, Gallup has not found much movement on the percentage of Americans who are very religious or nonreligious. Despite a rise in the nones, those who claim no formal religious identity, the nonreligious make up essentially the same percentage today as they did seven years ago.
In 2008, when Gallup first began tracking the data on a daily basis, 41 percent of Americans were very religious, 29 percent were somewhat religious, and 30 percent were nonreligious. Today, those numbers are virtually unchanged: 40 percent very religious, 29 percent somewhat religious, 31 percent nonreligious.
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.