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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Religiosity in Europe and the United States

Many posts have discussed the role of religion in American life.  

Ryan Burge:

The purpose of this post is to give readers some data visualizations at just how the religiosity of Europe compares to the United States. The best data I can find about what’s going on across the pond is the European Social Survey. It’s a great resource, but it’s only been around for about twenty years, so it can’t be used for really long-term trends. For comparison the General Social Survey in the United States have been collecting data since 1972.

Poland has a higher level of religious attendance than any state in the United States at 44% attending weekly. The closest state is Utah, where 41% attend weekly. Slovakia is as religious as Arkansas. Then there’s a big gap of just states in the U.S.

The closest comparison for Ireland, Italy, and Portugal is Virginia, Maryland, and Illinois. In each case, about a quarter are weekly attenders. But, at the end of the day, Europe is much less religious. There are two countries in Europe that have lower attendance rates than any state in the United States.

Overall, about a quarter of Americans indicate on surveys that they attend religious services weekly. That’s eleven percentage points higher than their European counterparts. There are only two states in the United States where attendance is lower than the European average: Maine at 13% and New Hampshire at 12%.