Mississippi Most Religious State, Vermont the Least

Bible belt has most religious states, New England some of least
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 31, 2009 8:20 AM CST
Marchers walk past the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church toward the Alabama State Capitol to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 in Montgomery.    (AP Photo/Jamie Martin)
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(Newser) – If you’re looking for religion, head to Mississippi; if you want to avoid it, choose Vermont, a new Gallup survey suggests. Mississippi is ranked as America’s most religious state, with 85% saying religion is “an important part of daily life.” At the other end of the scale is Vermont at 42%, USA Today reports. Other Bible-belt states fill out the top spots, while New England dominates among the nonbelievers.

"New England is now slightly ahead of the Pacific Northwest in terms of the high rate of unchurched people," said one expert. After Mississippi, most-religious states include Alabama (82%) and South Carolina (80%). Least-religious leaders include New Hampshire (46%) and Maine (48%). Overall, 65% of Americans said religion was a key part of daily life.