The religious states of America, in 22 maps

The Washington Post

By Niraj Chokshi

America is no longer a majority Protestant nation.

Last year, for the first time ever, that strain of Christianity lost its majority status among Americans, according to a new survey of 50,000 people. Only 47 percent of America identify as Protestant, with rates as high as 81 percent in Mississippi and as low as 10 percent in Utah.

“We have known for some time that America is in the midst of a religious, ethnic and cultural sea change, but until now we have not had a tool to capture these shifts adequately,” Robert P. Jones, CEO of the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, said in a statement introducing the organization’s new American Values Atlas tool. “By updating the American Values Atlas with more than 50,000 interviews each year, we will be able to track the dramatic cultural changes that are underway at this pivotal time in our nation’s history.”

The decline in Protestantism is just one of the changes to which Jones is alluding. Seniors are three times more likely than young Americans to claim a religious affiliation, for example. And white Christians are the minority in 19 states.

And those changes affect politics and policy, Jones said. White evangelical Protestants and the unaffiliated, in particular, are two groups worth noting.

“Those two are kind of the most weighty in terms of thinking about the political balance in the state,” Jones said.

Here’s a look at some of the results of PRRI’s massive, bilingual survey.

Read article and maps HERE