Mar 31, 2024 - News

Half of Virginians don't go to religious services

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

If you skipped Easter Sunday service on Sunday, you weren't alone — half of all adults in Virginia never or seldom attend religious services.

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.

By the numbers: Among Virginia adults, 50%, or nearly 3.3 million people, attend religious services never or less than once a year, compared to the national average of 49%, per a new analysis of Household Pulse Survey data from Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Alice Feng.

  • 12% of Virginia residents attend services 1-3 times a year, 7% attend 4-11 times per year, and 21% attend 12 or more times.

Zoom out: Vermont (75%), New Hampshire (66%) and Maine (66%) have the highest share of adults who say they never or seldom attend services.

  • Mississippi (32%), Alabama (36%) and Louisiana (37%) have the lowest shares.

Fun fact: 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.
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