In Utah, religion is truly an all-or-nothing proposition

Published: Wednesday, March 28 2012 8:51 a.m. MDT

A new survey from Gallup details religious observance in America by dividing each state's population into three categories: very religious, moderately religious and nonreligious. And suffice it to say, the data reveals Utah's religiosity is far and away the most statistically extreme in the nation.

Specifically, the statistical uniqueness of the Beehive State's religiosity is captured in the following trends:

The "moderately religious" slice of Utah demography — 15 percent — is significantly smaller than anywhere else in the country.

At 57 percent, Utah has the second-highest rate of very religious people. (Mississippi takes the cake in that regard.)

Utah is the only state with above-average religiosity that is not located in the South. Indeed, the Gallup report noted: "Coupled with the Southern states in the high-religiosity category is Utah, the majority of whose residents are Mormon — the most religious group in America today."

Any thorough discussion of how states stack up in terms of religiosity would not be complete without referring to data the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released in December 2009. That analysis ranked three characteristics of religious observance: worship attendance, frequency of prayer and belief in God. Utah ranked second in worship attendance, and 10th in both frequency of prayer and belief in God.

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