America's Most (and Least) Religious Metro Areas
Religion in America has an unmistakable geographic dimension
Three of the top five most religious metros are in Alabama — Montgomery, Birmingham, and Huntsville. Jackson, Mississippi, also ranks among the top five.
Burlington, Vermont, and Boulder, Colorado, tie for the title of the nation's least religious metro area. In these two metros, fewer than one in five residents claim to be "very religious." San Francisco and Boston also rank among the least religious metros in America.
These patterns conform to the broader findings of political scientist Ronald Inglehart, whose detailed World Values Surveys identify the shift from religious to secular values as one part of the transition to more economically advanced societies. Politicos on the left and right like to explain religious voters' proclivity purely in terms of values. But this misses a central point - that religion is inextricably bound up with the nation's underlying economic and geographic class divide.