Apr 1, 2024 - Religion

Nearly half of DMV adults never or rarely attend 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 a service or attend less than once a year. Map: Alice Feng/Axios

About 48% of DMV adults say they never or seldom attend church or religious services — just under the national average of 49%, per a new Axios analysis of Household Pulse Survey data.

The big picture: 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 started tracking such sentiment in 2001.

  • Many Americans are unhappy about that, with about half of adults telling Pew 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.

By the numbers: 11% of Washington residents attend services 1-3 times a year, 8% attend 4-11 times per year, and 23% attend 12 or more times.

  • Meanwhile, 51% of adults living in D.C. never or seldom attend religious services.

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

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

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 — 9% in 2000-2003 versus 21% in 2021-2023."

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Washington D.C..

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Washington D.C. stories

No stories could be found

Washington D.C.postcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Washington D.C..

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more