The Most Religious U.S. State: Page 2

Worshipers pray inside St. Clare Catholic Church, in Waveland, Miss., which was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and then rebuilt.
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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.

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