Updated Mar 31, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Religious service attendance, mapped

Share of adults who say they never or rarely attend religious services
Data: Household Pulse Survey; Note: Adults who say they never attend a service or attend less than once a year; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

Vermont (75%), New Hampshire (66%) and Maine (66%) have the highest share of adults who say they never or seldom attend church or religious services, compared to the national average of 49%, per a new Axios analysis of Household Pulse Survey data.

Why it matters: More than three-quarters of Americans say religion's role in public life is shrinking, per a recent Pew Research Center survey — the highest level since the group first started tracking such sentiment in 2001.

  • Many Americans are unhappy about that, with about half of adults telling Pew both that "religion is losing influence and that this is a bad thing."
  • About 57% of adults say that religion has a positive impact on American life, per Pew.

The other side: Mississippi (32%), Alabama (36%) and Louisiana (37%) have the lowest share of adults who say they never or seldom attend services.

Friction point: Nearly half of U.S. adults say they feel at least "some" tension between their religious beliefs and mainstream culture, Pew found.

  • That's up from 42% in 2020.

Zoom in: A separate Gallup survey published this week found that Latter-day Saints are the only religious group wherein a majority say they attend services weekly, at 54%.

  • 30% of Protestants say they attend services weekly, compared to 28% of Muslims, 23% of Catholics and 16% of Jews.

Yes, but: Religious service attendance has been dropping for decades, per Gallup, driven largely by "the increase in the percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation."

Go deeper