Pharyngula

#31

How does your state rank? Check out the ranking of states by religiosity. Mississippi wins with the unfortunate #1 spot; 82% of the residents of that state say religion is very important in their lives. New Hampshire and Vermont (sorry, you two, you got lumped together) are at the bottom, but 36% still say religion is important to them.

i-f9ad1bbe3f31a9dffb8a7acbcd1e98f2-state_religiosity.jpeg

Minnesota could do better, coming in at a respectable 31 out of 46. We’re working on improving that, come back in a couple of years.

Comments

  1. #1 scribe999
    December 30, 2009

    #30…Jersey needs to work on that. You think it’d be less, considering that the MTV show ‘Jersey Shore’ appears to be positive evidence of the non-existence of god.

  2. #2 tsg
    December 30, 2009

    @#1

    But still more than half. Apparently I’m neither strident nor militant enough….

    And “Jersey Shore” would have been better named “Benny Bungalow”. Only one of them is actually from here.

  3. #3 SC OM
    December 30, 2009

    Go, New England, go!

  4. #4 gettingfree
    December 30, 2009

    Wisconsin @ 37th. Pretty good.

    I have printed this list. I am considering moving in the next few years and this type of thing has become as important to me as weather and other metrics for evaluating where to move.

  5. #5 PaleGreenPants
    December 30, 2009

    To say that religion is important in your life does not necessarily mean that you are a religious person.

    Ohio is 25th.

  6. #6 Abdul Alhazred
    December 30, 2009

    States ranked by education:
    http://www.morganquitno.com/edrank.htm

    No it’s not the religion list upside down, real life is never that neat. But there’s a definite negative correlation between religion and education.

  7. #7 Martin
    December 30, 2009

    Hmm, I’d have thought Idaho and especially Alaska (second to last!?) would have ranked higher, considering how conservative those states are. But then Idahoan conservatives are probably more of the Libertarian stripe than Republican.

  8. #8 MAJeff, OM
    December 30, 2009

    I’m guessing that ND and SD just didn’t have large enough samples to separate us.

    Apparently my neighbors don’t pray as much as they go to weekly church services, dropping us down to 22nd.

    That move across the river just keeps getting more and more appealing.

  9. #9 KOPD42
    December 30, 2009

    #13
    Not too shabby. I could nitpick the question though. I could say that religion is important in my life, because other people’s religions certainly have an impact on me (though one of our blue laws did get overturned and I can now buy beer on Sundays). It’s fairly obvious that’s not what they were looking for, but I think it’s a point that is missed by religionists. They think everybody is persecuting them, but fail to see what they are doing to those around them. They need to do something about that plank.

  10. #10 PaleGreenPants
    December 30, 2009

    @7

    Seems quite a bit of the north western states are low on the list. I was surprised by Montana/Wyoming were at 38.

  11. #11 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    December 30, 2009

    Huh, Iowa actually came out a bit lower than Minnesota. Dunno why that surprises me; it’s not like I see lots of overt religiosity here.

  12. #12 Celtic_Evolution
    December 30, 2009

    Massachusetts transplant living in NY… Win on both counts (now, if only the taxes weren’t so miserable…)

  13. #13 Daniel de Rauglaudre
    December 30, 2009

    Wow! Sarah Palin’s state seems not to have followed her. Is it the reason why she resigned?

  14. #14 santa
    December 30, 2009

    As an Alaskan I am shocked. Shocked! It certainly doesn’t jive with my personal experience, but it’s possible. Before I would accept this I’d have to see the data and learn how it was collected. Regardless of the accuracy of this, it’s delightful to be on the right side of something.

  15. #15 Cuttlefish, OM
    December 30, 2009

    Re: NH

    It’s the “Old Man Of The Mountain” thing. Daniel Webster wrote “Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoe makers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but up in the Mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men.”

    Well, the Old Man collapsed in ’03. Clearly, by Webster’s reasoning, a sign that God Almighty had packed up and buggered off. No more reason for anyone to believe.

    The 36% in “NH/Vermont” are all obviously from west of the Connecticut River. Damned Vermonters, messing it up for everybody.

  16. #16 ennui
    December 30, 2009

    Colorado at #41, but still a long way to go. If only we could cut out Colorado Springs and send it somewhere else, we might give New England some competition.

  17. #17 Don
    December 30, 2009

    Time to move to Vermont, PZ. We really are a tad more rational than New Hampshire, I assure you. And we have elected the only nonreligious US Senator in Bernie Sanders.

  18. #18 Carlie
    December 30, 2009

    For comparison, the ranking of states by teen birthrates. Also not perfectly inverted, but pretty close.

  19. #19 Celtic_Evolution
    December 30, 2009

    According to the survey methodology, the sample size for Alaska (and Hawaii) was only 200, and was collected in a separate survey using different methodology… that might account for the result being so different from what most Alaskan’s would claim to experience.

  20. #20 Cory Meyer
    December 30, 2009

    I say this half-jokingly, but I wonder if cold weather improves mental function. Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden have the highest acceptance rate of evolution. New Hampshire and Vermont with the least acceptance of religion. And PZ out of Minnesota. Makes ya wonder! Then again, Alaska just had to screw my hypothesis.

  21. #21 Cory Meyer
    December 30, 2009

    Wait, never mind. Alaska saves my hypothesis.

  22. #22 Strangest brew
    December 30, 2009

    Shows how Palin was a little isolated in her insanity then with Alaska polling 37%

    Seems Yahweh is keen where the heat can cook some seriously demented brains but kindda sucks at keeping anyone warm…they seem to have learnt that belief is not the same thing as fur lined boots!

  23. #23 MAJeff, OM
    December 30, 2009

    Wait, never mind. Alaska saves my hypothesis.

    North Dakota destroys it.

  24. #24 MikeMa
    December 30, 2009

    Seems that Hawaii is higher (more religious) than I expected but then the respondents probably weren’t thinking chhristian religion when asked.

    Living in PA I’m surprised we are as low on the list as we are.

  25. #25 jaranath
    December 30, 2009

    Income is another general correlation.

    Of course all that really proves is that money and knowledge corrupt, which is why heathen-state wimmin ain’t fillin’ their quivers for Jesus ASAP…or that religion has nothing to do with ignorance and want, it actually HELPS, and that’s why those people turn to faith, and any day now they’ll pass all those heathen states in the stats…or that we’ve got it all wrong, the real knowledge is the bible and the real wealth is in heaven…or…gag…

  26. #26 Strangest brew
    December 30, 2009

    #19

    “might account for the result being so different from what most Alaskan’s would claim to experience”

    Always one out there to dash the optimism into shards of glass enough to sever the hope. ;-)

  27. #27 Whore of All the Earth
    December 30, 2009

    #22, in N. Dakota (lumped together with S. Dakota). Could be worse.

  28. #28 Kevin
    December 30, 2009

    Slightly disappointed in the Virginia / DC numbers, but eh… I’ll live with it.

  29. #29 Gus Snarp
    December 30, 2009

    Well, of 5 states I have lived in, three are below the average and two are slightly above. My current state is below average, but barely. Funny, I’ve been thinking lately that I would like to live in Vermont. Hopefully there won’t be a flood of people moving there, nothing would ruin Vermont faster than too many people.

  30. #30 Cheryl
    December 30, 2009

    Not surprised Alabama is #2. It’s usually just one off Mississippi in every list.

  31. #31 Richard Eis
    December 30, 2009

    Wait, never mind. Alaska saves my hypothesis.

    North Dakota destroys it.

    Statistical fluke. Can be safely ignored.

    (I was going to a “just do the nature trick: hide the decline” joke but too many people would have complained it didn’t make sense… then corrected my grammar).

  32. #32 wildlifer
    December 30, 2009

    Ugh!! I moved from #7 to #8 … At least I’m moving in the right direction ….

  33. #33 Greginnd
    December 30, 2009

    Yeah! ND squeaks by just below the national average.

    Looks like an excellent correlation with red/blue states in the last election.

  34. #34 The Science Pundit
    December 30, 2009

    26/46

    But I suspect that that’s largely due to the center of the state (a.k.a. Pennsyl-tucky), otherwise we’d be lower.

  35. #35 Gus Snarp
    December 30, 2009

    @Cory Meyer – Your hypothesis is an old one, and widely discredited. In the bad old days it was associated with environmental determinism and used to justify the behavior of European powers to their colonial subjects. Northern peoples were assumed to be smarter, harder workers, more active, better in every way than inherently stupid, lazy people from southern climes.

  36. #36 SnottyProfessor
    December 30, 2009

    Rankings are irrelevant. The aim should be to lower every state’s percentage down.

    I am Turkish. I bet if Turkey was included in this poll, it would rank similar to Texas or Utah. Just a guess, of course.

    Just wait a while. We will beat Vermont in the next ten years… Am I too optimistic?

    SnottyProfessor

  37. #37 Celtic_Evolution
    December 30, 2009

    I decided to do a little cross-section chart with the data from this survey and the data from the survey that Abdul pointed out at #6… certainly interesting…

  38. #38 Rob in Memphis
    December 30, 2009

    Not surprised that Tennesse is #5. I live in a nouveau riche part of Memphis and there are six churches (one of which is a Southern Baptist megachurch, ugh) within a two-mile radius of my apartment.

    With any luck, though, I’ll be living closer to my parents and relatives in Montana before 2010 is out. I’m surprised and more than a little relieved that Montana is so much more irreligious than I’d expected. Hooray!

  39. #39 Zeno
    December 30, 2009

    California has a lot of Latino culture (both Hispanic and Portuguese) that revolves around religious holidays. I suspect that raises the state’s religiosity quotient. A lot of us Californians could truthfully say that religion is very important in our lives because we love going to festas and fiestas (whether or not we remembered to attend the accompanying mass services).

    Uma outra cerveja, por favor.

    Otra cerveza, por favor.

  40. #40 Don
    December 30, 2009

    @Gus, #29

    I wouldn’t worry about any great influx of people moving to Vermont. Vermont remains the most rural state–which is one reason most people are not traditionally worshipful (nobody wants to hop into the car and drive any more than he already has to). While religion here is unimportant to most of us and politics are fairly progressive, income levels are low, schools are generally mediocre, good career opportunities are few, and the climate is challenging. It’s a beautiful place environmentally and intellectually, but the trade-offs are not insignificant.

  41. #41 aratina cage
    December 30, 2009

    The 2007 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey has more pertinent questions for atheists:

    http://religions.pewforum.org/maps

    Select the topic “Belief in God or Universal Spirit” under the map of the USA on the right in the Beliefs and Practices box, then click on “Does not believe in God” under the Responses box. Then you can look at godlessness in individual states.

    So, 5% ± 0.6% of the USA does not believe in God/Universal Spirit. The margin of error is too big in some individual cases: 9% ± 7.5% of Alaskans do not and 3% ± 4.0% of Minnesotans do not.

  42. #42 Ompompanoosuc
    December 30, 2009

    It was so cold this morning in VT that the horse poop sounded like ice cubes when it hit the ground. Hell sounds warm, seems like a nice change.

    Time to move to Vermont, PZ.

    Agreed, come over to the (really) dark side.

  43. #43 tuckerch
    December 30, 2009

    Happy to see the Commonwealth of Massachusetts so near the bottom of the list!

  44. #44 nathan.pozderac
    December 30, 2009

    And, Ohio…smack dab in the middle.

  45. #45 Paul Burnett
    December 30, 2009

    I’ll have to compare that bar graph with my presidential election graph at http://www.paulburnett.com/toothless – but I won’t be able to get at it until tonight. I would bet there will be as good a correlation (particularly at the bottom).

  46. #46 Richard Eis
    December 30, 2009

    I would like to see religiosity vs quality of life for each state.

  47. #47 Knockgoats
    December 30, 2009

    Religiosity isn’t one of the social ills Wilkinson and Pickett correlated with income inequality, but comparing the chart above with their graphs in The Spirit Level, it looks as though income inequality and religiosity would correlate quite highly, although there are exceptions (NY is at the top of their income inequality scale, but low on religiosity, for example). Of course this is correlation, not causation, I’d hypothesize that in a rich modern society, low income inequality is sufficient but not necessary for low religiosity.

  48. #48 Gus Snarp
    December 30, 2009

    @Don #40 – Yeah, the only reason I’m not in Vermont is that I can’t figure out how I would make a living. And I’m not entirely sure I’m ready for Vermont winter.

  49. I was, frankly, astonished to see NJ at #4 for smarts, as well as 30 for religiosity. From what I see, the first ranking’s too high, and the second,too low. It’s nice to see that my perceptions might be off on both counts. Let’s see how it looks after Christie is done making Corzine look like the best Governor EVAR. . .

  50. #50 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmrtYHNdrnh7qDMbxVkpx8PXx_Kof9ty0M
    December 30, 2009

    Oh, dear. Obviously, signing in using Google is a massive fail!

  51. #51 TimJohnsonMN
    December 30, 2009

    Happy to see my home state of Iowa in the bottom half. And just squeaking past my current state, too. Between legalizing gay marriage and more and more rankings like this, I’m glad Iowans are not living up to the stereotype people in other parts of the country seem to place on them.

  52. #52 Endor
    December 30, 2009

    #39 – 46%. That’s still almost half! Disappointing!

  53. #53 Kamaka
    December 30, 2009

    @ 20

    I say this half-jokingly, but I wonder if cold weather improves mental function.

    @ 35

    @Cory Meyer – Your hypothesis is an old one, and widely discredited. In the bad old days it was associated with environmental determinism and used to justify the behavior of European powers to their colonial subjects. Northern peoples were assumed to be smarter, harder workers, more active, better in every way than inherently stupid, lazy people from southern climes.

    The “stupid, lazy” people of southern climes were suffering anemia from hookworm infection.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hookworm#History

  54. #54 Quagmire
    December 30, 2009

    Notice how all the crappy states are also the most religious.

  55. #55 kilternkafuffle
    December 30, 2009

    According to this VT & NH only have 54% believing in God. So if the trends continue in a few years they can claim that the majority rejects the belief in God in favor of either atheism, or more likely the belief in some ethereal spirit or force.

    Also, I think I would support the instinct to move to the less religious states rather than to try to bring down other states’ religiosity by moving there, because the irreligious are already dispersed widely enough. According to the data here (http://religions.pewforum.org/maps), the “Unaffiliated” are the biggest constituency after Evangelicals and Mainline Protestants, but they wield nowhere near the same political power because they are spread thinly like butter across the states, whereas the Jews can influence New York and the Mormons can dominate Utah completely while being tiny minorities overall.

    Overall religiosity should fall with education and with the formation of alternative communities and humanistic philosophies brought on by higher income and the memes of the time. All these largely depend on national policies, which the irreligious could only hope to influence by being a bigger player that can actually claim direct political influence. Concentration would also allow the pooling of money and man-hours, building new charitable and educational organizations etc.

    Therefore I recommend, whenever it is possible to choose, that all the godless Americans move to Minnesota, New England, or California =)

  56. #56 BeamStalk
    December 30, 2009

    Yes! Number 7! Oh wait this is one of those things where you want to be low, dammit.

  57. #57 tdcourtney
    December 30, 2009

    I am definitely confused that Alaska is so low. How did they vote for Palin? Do you just have to shoot things from a helicopter to be Alaska’s governor?

  58. #58 CanonicalKoi
    December 30, 2009

    You’ll just have to come back to Washington State. #36 and working our way to 50. Oregon beat us out, but I’m blaming that on our large influx of those darned #35 Californians. ;)

  59. #59 Celtic_Evolution
    December 30, 2009

    I would like to see religiosity vs quality of life for each state.

    Well, there are lots of different surveys out there with varying definitions of “quality of life”… but if you were to use this 2007 “Most livable states” survey and again make a cross-section with the religiosity survey, the results are again really interesting…

  60. #60 Gus Snarp
    December 30, 2009

    @tdcourtney – Apparently.

  61. #61 vanharris
    December 30, 2009

    Kamaka,#53, that theory goes back to Sir Francis Bacon in the last decade of the 16th C. Bacon speculated that it was either cold, or the difference in size of Northern versus Southern continents, or the different stars (!), that was responsible for the greater success of northern flora & fauna, when it came to invading the other’s territory.

    Darwin picked up on this, with respect to plants, & attributed it to the greater size of the Northern continents, & their greater diversity. This was unchanged from the the first to the last edition of The Origin, with respect to plants, & later editions referenced it to ‘terrestrial animals & marine productions’.

  62. #62 Eric Dutton
    December 30, 2009

    #13 for me. That feels like a victory given how given how much crazy there is here in Kansas.

    I suspect that economics is a factor. I found poverty rankings from 2007 and, although that don’t match up exactly, they aren’t too far off.

  63. #63 mechanoid
    December 30, 2009

    @CanonicalKoi ? You forget that Californians plague us both in Washington and Oregon ? and I definitely mean in a biblical sense.

    Toads and Locusts? Meh…

    But Californians??? Truly frightening.

    It is my opinion that with both of our states afflicted, Oregon clearly is the more rational state.

    This native Oregonian is proud to live in a state where religiosity is in the minority. Now all we have to do is increase that margin. Huzzah!

  64. #64 Jim
    December 30, 2009

    Wow, WI is down near the bottom, I didn’t exactly expect that, but still almost half responding in the affirmative…long way to go. And #8 in education, I’m proud of that.

  65. #65 Larry
    December 30, 2009

    Vermont and New Hampshire, FTW!

  66. #66 Knockgoats
    December 30, 2009

    I am definitely confused that Alaska is so low. How did they vote for Palin? – tdcourtney

    Despite its Republican tendencies, Alaska has the lowest income inequality of any US state – because a share of the oil revenues is distributed. Hence its low religiosity, I’d say, but I admit this leaves the vote for Palin unexplained!

  67. #67 aratina cage
    December 30, 2009

    I am definitely confused that Alaska is so low. How did they vote for Palin? Do you just have to shoot things from a helicopter to be Alaska’s governor? -tdcourtney

    Palin challenged an unpopular Republican governor who had just recently increased taxes but called them “user fees”, had eliminated welfare payments to elders, and had appointed his own daughter to replace his US Senate seat. Basically, she challenged a crooked politician in her own party and won the primary. Then she went up against another perpetual Democratic politician who had long ago worn out his welcome (trying to become governor for the third time by sitting out one term). I believe it was the easiest election to win ever in Alaska’s history. Religion was not a key factor in her win.

  68. #68 Steve Reilly
    December 30, 2009

    There are still tiny pockets of deeply religious Catholics here in Vermont, but they are a dying breed. This is reflected in the the Catholic private schools I attended. While I was in high school, there were over 250 students and enrollment was healthy for the small school. Now there are a few over 75 and I’ve heard that it’s worse every year. The affiliate grade/middle school is even worse. Both may not survive another decade.

    I would bet that 36% is a high number for Vermont. I guess if religious means “I was meaning to go to church on Xmas eve/Easter, but ‘something else’ came up”, then I believe it.

  69. #69 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 30, 2009

    But Californians??? Truly frightening.

    Don’t be surprised by us Californians. While, overall, we are more liberal than most states there are still a lot of pockets of religious conservatism here and there. I think that most central Californian counties are very religious and conservative.

  70. #70 Randy
    December 30, 2009

    Washington would be doing better if it were not for Eastern Washington. We have lots of woo over here… but I am doing my best to ignore it. Spokane is really a very nice place to live.

  71. #71 Volcanon
    December 30, 2009

    ND/SD evidently are the same state now!

    We did, however, score admirably for the number of rural farming religious folk around.

    The results are about what I’d expect, my experience suggests that it’s basically a coin toss around here whether or not a person cares about religion.

  72. #72 daveau
    December 30, 2009

    I like how the rankings have a high correlation with the number of banjos/population in each state. Not implying any causation or anything.

  73. #73 Trug
    December 30, 2009

    Man, I really need to work on getting stationed back up in New England… Texas just is NOT cutting it.

    And the winters really weren’t that bad. Get yourself a broadband connection at home and just sit back and watch the snow. Telecommuting is the way to go, if you can swing it.

  74. #74 Gus Snarp
    December 30, 2009

    @Volcanon – I’ve heard that North Dakota does not actually exist.

  75. #75 airbagmoments
    December 30, 2009

    Vermont! We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re #1!!!

  76. #76 John Marley
    December 30, 2009

    38! Woohoo!

    Although, being near the Utah border means this part of Wyoming has a pretty high mormon population.

  77. #77 Gus Snarp
    December 30, 2009

    So how much snow do you get in Vermont?

  78. #78 tsg
    December 30, 2009

    So how much snow do you get in Vermont?

    All of it.

  79. #79 skylyre
    December 30, 2009

    Go MA! Another reason to love it here. I have added “not too many religious wackos” to the list of things I like about MA along with beautiful seasonal changes, gay marriage and wicked awesome chowdah.

  80. #80 Gus Snarp
    December 30, 2009

    What does it say that the region of the country with the least religious people is also the region that was founded by some of the most wacky religious people originally?

  81. #81 skylyre
    December 30, 2009

    What does it say that the region of the country with the least religious people is also the region that was founded by some of the most wacky religious people originally?

    They learned their lesson the hard way?

  82. #82 Douglas Watts
    December 30, 2009

    Not surprisingly, the abolitionist movement began in New England and Henry Thoreau was basically non-religious.

  83. #83 Larry
    December 30, 2009

    I’d like to see a overlay onto this chart showing literacy rates, per capita income, teen pregnancy rates, NASCAR viewership, or any other social statistic you care to name.

    I’m guessing it would reveal some interesting comparisons and that the rankings would be quite similar.

  84. #84 Gus Snarp
    December 30, 2009

    Of course, it’s all by states, which are awfully large areas with awfully arbitrary boundaries. Would be more interesting at the county level.

  85. #85 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkL6rop7ope6a9ysVWsdSU1FNTAQmmW9gw
    December 30, 2009

    At #42 I’m glad to share with Rhode Island, a man who founded his own state after the Pilgrim/Puritan theocrats made Massachusetts unbearable due to religious intolerance.

    Just don’t ask about vampires. We know they are real.

  86. #86 a.human.ape
    December 30, 2009

    New Hampshire and Vermont are at the bottom, but 36% still say religion is important to them.

    36% of the population of Vermont and New Hampshire are insane. While this is much better than brain-dead Mississippi, it’s still disgraceful.

  87. #87 Thorne
    December 30, 2009

    No surprise to see SC at #6. Except that I might have guessed it would be closer to #3.

    When my kids were young we used to play a game while driving around the state. Try to guess whether there would be more churches or fast-food restaurants along the way. The (unscientific) results were generally a toss-up.

    Of particular interest were the churches which were in building which used to be fast-food places. And, of course, Italian restaurants counted for both (Praise FSM).

  88. #88 creating trons
    December 30, 2009

    2 years ago I moved from #4 to …to…#5.

    *sigh*

  89. #89 Caine
    December 30, 2009

    No surprise North Dakota is 22, even though everyone I’ve ever known since I moved here spends much more time in a bar than a church. Here, religious affiliation is the “done thing” whether you’re actually religious or not.

  90. #90 seanpatgallagher.myopenid.com
    December 30, 2009

    I wonder how these numbers correlate with standard-of-living, mean home prices and the like.

    As Molly Ivins said:

    (On Texas) We consistently rank near the bottom by every measure of social service, education, and quality of life (leading to one of our state mottoes, “Thank God for Mississippi”).

    -S

  91. #91 Endor
    December 30, 2009

    “So how much snow do you get in Vermont?”

    “All of it.”

    No way. WNY gets all of it. VT, et al, get whatever was left over.

  92. #92 wlrube
    December 30, 2009

    I’m so used to seeing California at about #46 or #47 on state-by-state lists of things like tax rates and per capita education spending, it’s a shame we couldn’t even break into the 40′s on the one list where it would actually be great to be dead last.

  93. #93 Celtic_Evolution
    December 30, 2009

    *** Nods in agreement after yet another miserable week of driving up snow-riddled I-81 every damn day***

  94. #94 Celtic_Evolution
    December 30, 2009

    my #93 was in reference to comment #91, btw…

  95. #95 NewEnglandBob
    December 30, 2009

    Way to go, New England states!

    I might have a small bias :)

  96. #96 MAJeff, OM
    December 30, 2009

    Go MA! Another reason to love it here. I have added “not too many religious wackos” to the list of things I like about MA along with beautiful seasonal changes, gay marriage and wicked awesome chowdah.

    Oh, bugger off! *grumble grumble grumble*

  97. #97 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 30, 2009

    Notice how all the crappy states are also the most religious.

    Where are you from Jackass?

  98. #98 CanonicalKoi
    December 30, 2009

    @ Mechanoid #63 – The only answer is to pool our resources, join together with British Columbia and form our own country. We could be P.A.S.T.O.R.–Province and States Teaching Only Reason.

    And yeah, I’m jealous you guys beat us out. (shakes fist) “Just wait’ll next time!!!” :D Oh! And, “We woulda won if it wasn’t for those meddling kids!”

  99. #99 Gus Snarp
    December 30, 2009

    OK, since I couldn’t get a straight answer, I went to the font of all accurate knowledge, Wikipedia, which tells me that Vermont gets from 60 to 100 inches of snowfall per year. I expect that there’s very little melting of snow from December through February based on average temps, so you end up under about three feet of snow for most of winter? Still would probably be worth it if I could just make a living there.

  100. #100 Momo
    December 30, 2009

    Indiana came in at number 16 Behind fucking Missouri. Is this a fucking joke, oh well it explains a lot about peoples behavior here.

  101. #101 KillJoy
    December 30, 2009

    My home state of New Mexico is 29th, and my adopted state of Washington is 36th. I must say, I’m a little surprised NM did as well as it did. But then, I’ve not especially been aware of the religious/political climate there in like say, oh..10 years or so.

  102. #102 Endor
    December 30, 2009

    “*** Nods in agreement after yet another miserable week of driving up snow-riddled I-81 every damn day***”

    Ohho, man. I can totally imagine!! I’m right – RIGHT – off of Lake Erie. Meaning, I can see it from my office building.

    Snow around here is 8ft of lake effect snow in three days. Or when LES whips up a blizzard out of a sunny day and you get to spend 5+ hours on a bus because the one high speed limit route out of town is shut down because some engineering genius decided to build it 150 ft in the air.

    *gasps for air*

    *shakes fist at lake erie*

  103. #103 toth
    December 30, 2009

    #44! Way to go, MA! Sometimes I love my godless liberal state.

  104. #104 Celtic_Evolution
    December 30, 2009

    Ohho, man. I can totally imagine!! I’m right – RIGHT – off of Lake Erie. Meaning, I can see it from my office building.

    Office building within sight of Lake Erie… I’m guessing that has to be Buffalo (or one of the areas just south, Lackawanna, etc…)

    Yeah, I know just what you mean… there may be no more completely disparate place in the US (lower 48) than the eastern shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario… absolutely beautiful in the summer… nearly uninhabitable in the winter.

  105. #105 bpesta22
    December 30, 2009

    I have a paper using the Pew data here, but focusing only on questions relating to fundamentalist beliefs (the bible is literally true; my prayers are answered).

    Still, my rankings are probably very close to what you reported here.

    The interesting thing is the nexus of crap that religiosity predicts across the 50 U.S. states (always that more religious equates to negative outcomes). More religious states have:
    Lower IQ, lower education, higher crime, poorer health, more poverty.

    The correlations are substantial in most cases. Religiosity also predicts odd things like:
    the % of gun owners in a state;
    the Starbucks to Walmart ratio in a state;
    percent voting for obama or mccain (go figure);
    divorce rates; teen pregnancy rates; infant mortality;
    whether a state has amended its constitution to ban gay marriage;
    the % of people who drive solo to work.

    The list goes on and on. The article just happens to be open access in the journal for this month (mine is #17 here):

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01602896

    Bryan

    p.s.

    Minnesota ranks 5th in global well-being; 14th in religiosity (where 50th, Mississippi, is the most fundamentalist state); 40th in crime; 9th in education; 3rd in health; 7th in income and 5th in IQ.

    I have correlations between % godless people in a state and about 50 other variables if anyone’s interested.

  106. #106 NixNoctua
    December 30, 2009

    Heh, when I was about 7 my parents moved us from #39 to #8. No wonder I hate religion so much.

  107. #107 'Tis Himself, OM
    December 30, 2009

    I’ve heard that North Dakota does not actually exist.

    This is true. That area is now called “Baja Manitoba”.

  108. #108 Vene
    December 30, 2009

    Taking the cue from Adbul (#6) and Celtic Evolution (#37), I put the data into graph format instead of table format. I have it over at Flickr with my comments on it over here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44797806@N02/4229547766/

  109. #109 Thomas F. Shamma
    December 30, 2009

    I live in NH, and most of the time it’s awesome – but I do have the problem of many of my secular friends and family not seeing religion as a serious problem. A mild annoyance, though, and I’m proud to be counted in one of the two tied-for-most-secular states.

  110. #110 bpesta22
    December 30, 2009

    I think is fairly amazing, but Mean Temps in the 48 US states from 1970 to 2000 correlate:

    +.65 with fundamentalist religious beliefs,
    +.80 with crime
    -.41 with education
    -.75 with health
    -.74 with IQ
    -.77 with global state well-being.

    This social science; these correlation are huge. I wish I knew this 2 months ago :(

  111. #111 bpesta22
    December 30, 2009

    Sorry for the typos above; I was replying to someone that hypothesized religiosity and IQ might vary by state temperature…

  112. #112 mechanoid
    December 30, 2009

    @ CanonicalKoi #98

    P.A.S.T.O.R. hmmm? Something about the acronym… something unsettling…

    I’m a fan of the Free Republic of Cascadia:
    http://zapatopi.net/cascadia/

    But yes, I’m extremely favorable to Oregon secession with BC and WA. Umm… does that make me a political extremist?

    C’est la vie.

  113. #113 joe.bussen
    December 30, 2009

    There is a bit of innumerancy in this list; there ARE 50 states, right? If the last ranked is a singleton, surely it ranks 50th? The problem is the ties, of course. If the Dakotas tie at 22, then Hawaii is not 23, but 24. There are four ties, so all low ranking states are 1, 2, or 3 ranks lower than indicated.

  114. #114 arrakis
    December 30, 2009

    Missouri at #17…I thought for a second that we might rank higher but then I looked at the states above (Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma) and realized that the chart is pretty accurate.

    You can get away with being nonreligious in the major cities and college towns (Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia) but once you leave them you realize that the rest of the state is a fundamentalist “Believe-or-Die” nightmare.

  115. #115 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 30, 2009

    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2006001/9181-eng.htm

    You can compare the results to Canada’s using the above website. I’m speculating that a “high level of religiosity” in the Canadian study would correspond pretty closely to “religion being very important” in the US study.
    In Canada, there’s a steady drop in religiosity from the East to West coast, with BC showing 25% highly religious, vs. 36% in the Atlantic provinces. The exception, of course, is Quebec, with a high level of only 24%. Canada overall is at 29%, below even Vermont/New Hamshire.
    In the new nation of PASTOR, the South will still be the Bible Belt (WA 48% OR 46%).
    Just sayin’.

  116. #116 krc [clowersnet.net]
    December 30, 2009

    Randy Author #70:
    >Spokane is really a very nice place to live.

    Pull the other one, it’s got bells on

    mechanoid #112:
    >Free Republic of Cascadia

    I’ll second that motion!

  117. #117 krc [clowersnet.net]
    December 30, 2009

    I don’t understand way a copy/paste of the post title should result in the icon becoming the text “Author Profile Page”. I guess it picks up the alt text…

  118. #118 Abdul Alhazred
    December 30, 2009

    Posted by: Celtic_Evolution Author Profile Page | December 30, 2009 10:55 AM

    I decided to do a little cross-section chart with the data from this survey and the data from the survey that Abdul pointed out at #6… certainly interesting…

    I finally got around to looking at it. Thank you.

  119. #119 skylyre
    December 30, 2009

    @MAJeff

    Ah yes… the drivers. No wonder 40% of people here are religious, they’re praying for their life.

  120. #120 Biology Blogger
    December 30, 2009

    New York has less than half of it’s population thinking religion is important? Fugghhddabouit. (I live in NYC!! IT’S A SECULAR SENSATION! COME ON DOWN AND PARTY AT #39 ON THE RELIGIOSITY POLL. AND OMF-FSM, ALASKA?? IS THE MARGIN OF ERROR IN THIS POLL 99%?)

  121. #121 Orson Zedd
    December 30, 2009

    Mississippi native here. We’re doing the best we can. It’s going to be a long fight, especially for me to get a date.

  122. #122 Andyo
    December 31, 2009

    I’m in CA, yay? Wait a minute… is that Alaska I see below us. Fuck.

  123. #123 Richard Eis
    December 31, 2009

    but if you were to use this 2007 “Most livable states” survey and again make a cross-section with the religiosity survey, the results are again really interesting…

    Thanks Celtic. I knew there would be a correlation…but the amount of red in one big lump is pretty hard to ignore. Shame the livability data was a bit weak. But not much we can do about that.

  124. Ohho, man. I can totally imagine!! I’m right – Endor: “RIGHT – off of Lake Erie. Meaning, I can see it from my office building.

    Snow around here is 8ft of lake effect snow in three days. Or when LES whips up a blizzard out of a sunny day and you get to spend 5+ hours on a bus because the one high speed limit route out of town is shut down because some engineering genius decided to build it 150 ft in the air.

    *gasps for air*

    *shakes fist at lake erie*”

    ====

    I can feel your pain. I live in Erie, PA. I can practically hit the lake if I stand on my roof and spit :>

  125. #125 Celtic_Evolution
    December 31, 2009

    …the amount of red in one big lump is pretty hard to ignore. Shame the livability data was a bit weak. But not much we can do about that.

    Indeed… it was an interesting endeavor to try to find a balanced “quality of life” survey… the first thing I noticed is that one of the most commonly found surveys if you do a google search lists “spirituality” as a factor for determining quality of life… others similarly use religious affiliation as a “positive factor” in determining quality of life.

    This, of course, is ridiculous, so I tried to find one that used as many economic, educational, and environmental factors as possible without consideration for anything so vapid and impossible to measure as “spirituality”. The one I used, while still a bit weak, did at least provide a wide range of factors (44 in all) and gave no consideration to supernatural mumbo-jumbo.

  126. #126 Richard Eis
    December 31, 2009

    The one I used, while still a bit weak, did at least provide a wide range of factors (44 in all) and gave no consideration to supernatural mumbo-jumbo.

    Also, some data was appently missing and filled in from the last survey. Also we don’t know the weightings for each “supposed” factor (I thought some of them were pretty lame to be honest).

    The fact that Utah managed to jump 7 places in one year was odd.

    You would think that a country would be interested in this kind of data. Its shocking how little data and how fragmented it is for this sort of thing.

  127. #127 bpesta22
    December 31, 2009

    Celtic- you may have missed it but the study I linked to uses 30 variables assessing exactly what you seem very interested in assessing. If you did see it, my apologies for being an attention whore by pointing it out again.

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