In one of the largest such surveys ever undertaken, researchers said Wednesday they have found Americans are a strongly religious people, with just 7.5 percent saying they have no religion.
And for many Americans, according to Seymour Lachman of the City University of New York, religious identification is at least as important as their racial and ethnic affiliation.Nationally, the study found that 26.2 percent of Americans identify themselves as Roman Catholic - the largest church in the country - while 60.3 percent are Protestant - such as Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans and Presbyterian groups - with the overwhelming number of them identifying with a particular Protestant denomination.
Following the Roman Catholics in terms of size were Baptists, who make up 19.4 percent of the population, Methodists, with 8 percent and Lutherans, with 5.2 percent.
Among the survey's most useful elements are findings on religious and ethnic groups that normally don't show up in polls.
Politically, Mormons are the most Republican in their political affiliation, with about 50 percent claiming allegiance to the party.
Jews and Baptists are the most Democratic, with just under 45 percent of each group identifying themselves with the party. Jews are also the most urbanized of the religious groups and Baptists the most rural.