Not long after the presidential election, Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, admitted his paper has had a blind spot when it comes to faith. “We don’t get religion,” he told NPR’s Terri Gross. “We don’t get the role of religion in people’s lives.”
One reason it’s difficult to get religion in America: The religious landscape changes dramatically, depending on where you live, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.
In New York, members of non-Christian faiths—including Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists—outnumber white evangelicals by a 6-to-1 margin. And Protestants of color outnumber white Protestants 3-to-1. Catholics are the largest religious group by far.
By contrast, in Nashville, white evangelicals are the largest faith group. And white Protestants outnumber non-Christians by a 12-to-1 margin. They also outnumber Protestants of color 3-to-1. Yet Nashville has a larger share of nones (24 percent) than New York (22 percent).
In Portland, the nones rule. One in 3 people has no religious affiliation (34 percent). And there are almost as many followers of other faiths (5 percent) as Protestants of color (6 percent).
In Chicago, meanwhile, more than half of residents are Catholics (29 percent) or nones (22 percent), and there are equal numbers of Protestants of color and white Protestants.