Utah was named the state with highest weekly church attendance in a recent Gallup poll. Christian Today reports that the largely Mormon state took the top spot over the traditional Bible Belt states including Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas.
According to the poll, 51 percent of Utah residents say they attend religious services each week. This was bolstered by Utah’s Mormon population of 59 percent, a religious group that highly values service attendance.
New England states reported the lowest church attendance, with only 17 percent of Vermont citizens claiming to attend church services weekly.
Survey editor Frank Newport quoted President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in his report, writing, "The United States is one of the most religious countries in the world – far more religious than most Western developed countries."
Newport comments on Obama’s words, "This is certainly true as far as the nation's average religiosity is concerned, but the fact remains that within the US there are stark geographic differences in religiosity. In some states of the union – Utah and Southern states – roughly half of residents report attending religious services weekly, while in others – mostly in the Northeast and the West – a fourth or less of residents attend weekly."
He continues that there is "no definitive answer as to why residents in a state like Mississippi are so likely to be in church on Sundays, while residents in a state like Vermont are so unlikely.”