Mar 29, 2024 - News

Mapped: Religious service attendance in North Carolina vs the US

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

The Bible Belt still firmly runs through North Carolina.

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.

Yes, but: North Carolinians go to religious services — across varying faith groups — more regularly than the rest of the country.

  • Among North Carolina adults, 43% say they never or seldom attend church or religious services. That's compared to the national average of 49%, according to a Household Pulse Survey conducted Feb. 6-March 4.
  • Other Sun Belt states are largely in line with the Tar Heel State, and Mississippi (32%), Alabama (36%) and Louisiana (37%) have the country's lowest share of adults who say they don't attend church.

Zoom out: Religious service attendance nationally has been dropping for decades, per Gallup, driven largely by "the increase in the percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation — 9% in 2000-2003 versus 21% in 2021-2023."

  • 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.

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