Soul Bites the News: U.S. Religious Geography

The other night I saw this fascinating article on religious geography floating around social media. Among other data, it features a United States map showing which religions are most prominent in which parts of the country. What I find most interesting is the possible connection between immigration patterns and religious affiliation.

For example, the northern midwest was settled primarily by those of German and Scandinavian descent. Consequently, in that region there is a concentration of Lutherans, (though I honestly couldn’t tell you what the difference between a Lutheran and an Evangelical Lutheran is).

The west cost is, by far, predominantly Catholic which makes sense considering that region originally belonged to Mexico which, at that time, was ruled by Spain.

The Jewish concentrations along the northern east coast, in Florida, and in Los Angeles kind of tickled me. I suppose all those jokes Jewish people make about their elders all migrating to Florida eventually have some truth in them.

Southern Baptists are concentrated in the south. I’m not sure I needed a map to tell me that. I wish I knew the history behind the Southern Baptist faith. Maybe that’s fodder for a future post. The reason I mention it is because a great many Germans also settled the south, along with Scots-Irish indentured servants, and African slaves. I wonder if it was something unique to this mix that caused the Southern Baptist faith to catch hold.

I’m sad to say there is no Paganism of any stripe represented in the map. They are a few, but they are a mighty few.

The article also provides data on things like generational differences in how religious people are, but that’s the same old same old. Apparently you Millennials are a bunch of godless heathens! -snicker- I can assure you that my fellow Gen-Xers are, by comparison, most righteous and upstanding. -double snicker-


Find the article at the link above or here:

About M. Ashley

Essayist and poet, my work has been rejected by some of the finest journals in America. Fortunately, it also gets accepted from time to time and has appeared in equally fine journals such as Word Riot, Inlandia, Brew City Magazine, and SageWoman among others.. In 2002, I was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize for Vanderbilt University. For no good reason, I possess an unnecessarily dark humor which is why being third generation California Inland Empirian delights me so. My gods are weird. I once received $350 for writing a smartassed essay on “why the wise use of water is important in my daily life”. I am undoubtedly the Greek god Hermes’ special snowflake. I’m pretty sure I got into college via a series of fortuitous clerical errors. When I had to grow up and get a real job, I decided against it and stayed a writer. I have worked many odd—and I mean odd—jobs to support my habit: Commercial writer for country music hopefuls, resume massager, WalMart fitting room attendant and switchboard operator, telephone psychic.
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