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Religion in Illinois, America

By Margaret Lyons in News on Feb 26, 2008 5:22PM

2008_2_26.religious.jpgThe Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a new study about American religiosity yesterday, and the study says the religious landscape of America is "diverse and incredibly fluid." A lot of oeople are changing religious affiliations, and more are choosing no affiliation at all than ever before. The study found that 16.1 percent of adult Americans characterized themselves as "unaffiliated."

Illinois's religious composition, compared to that of the nation on the whole (see the table on the right), is more Catholic--32 percent of the state versus 24 percent of the nation--and less Evangelical--19 percent to 26 percent. Otherwise, though, we're pretty representative. Go us!

According to the report,

The Midwest most closely resembles the religious makeup of the overall population. The South, by a wide margin, has the heaviest concentration of members of evangelical Protestant churches. The Northeast has the greatest concentration of Catholics, and the West has the largest proportion of unaffiliated people, including the largest proportion of atheists and agnostics.

The study itself is fascinating, and the presentation of the data is enough to send us into a coma of nerdbliss for days. Check out religious affiliations by state, examine demographic data by tradition, or compare demographic characteristics of different traditions.