Monday, February 25, 2008

Minnesota's Religious Landscape

According to a new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Minnesota is one of the most religiously "mainline" states in the country. According to the survey, 32% of Minnesotans belong to traditional mainline Protestant churches, as opposed to 18% nationally. The percentage of Catholics is also higher than the national average in Minnesota (28% in Minnesota, 24% nationally). But the percentage of evangelicals is slightly smaller: 21% in Minnesota, 26% nationally.

Most mainline Protestants are, unsurprisingly, white (91%). Also not surprisingly, 50% of all evangelicals live in the South. According to the survey, Jews and Hindus are likely to be wealthier and better educated than members of other religions.

1 comment:

Christopher Tassava said...

Fascinating report. I'll have to dig into it more sometime, but I just spent a couple minutes sussing out the data on atheists/agnostics. Nationally, these two groups account for 4.0% of the population (atheists 1.6%, agnostics 2.4%). More Americans are nonbelievers, in other words, than are members of such "traditions" as Judaism, Islam, Orthodoxy, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness-ism (?), Buddhism, Hinduism... (The quote marks aren't used to sneer, but rather to suggest a discomfort with the use of that noun to describe faiths that are little over a hundred years old - like, say, American evangelicalism.)

Though the percentage of Minnesotans in the "unaffiliated" group is slightly lower than the national percentage (13% vs. 16%), I can't easily find a breakdown of Minnesotans along the atheist/agnostic lines.

On top of that, the "Nothing in particular" group within "Unaffiliated" is a whopping 12.1%, bigger than every other group but for evangelical Protestant, mainline Protestant, and Catholic. In sum, that's a lot of unbelievers - or syncretists. I could get behind something that mixed Taoism, animism, and, say, the cult of Sol Invictus.

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