Something about the state's culture, based partly on that state's history, may be behind residents' religiosity, Gallup suggests. "In other words, it can be hypothesized that a person moving to Mississippi is more likely to become personally more religious than if that same person moved to Vermont," Gallup officials write in a statement.
While overall seven in 10 Americans said they were either moderately or very religious, other Gallup poll results reported in January have shown a rise in "no religious identification" over time.
"Americans' expression of an explicit religious identity in response to a survey interviewer's question is one of many measures of religiosity, although by no means a definitive measure of a person's religiousness or spirituality," Gallup states. "The rise in 'nones' partly reflects changes in the general pattern of expression of religion in American society today — particularly including trends towards more 'unbranded,' casual, informal religion."
The just-released state-religion results are based on more than 348,000 interviews with adults ages 18 and older conducted from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2012, as part of Gallup Daily tracking. The results were weighted to be representative of each state's adult population by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity and education, based on Census data.
This article originally appeared on LiveScience.com.
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