Portland, Ore., is No. 1 on the list of metropolitan areas with the most religiously unaffiliated residents (42%), according to the nonpartisan and nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute’s American Values Atlas, a survey of 50,000 people. Seattle and San Francisco were tied at second place (with 33%) on the list, and Denver (32%) and Phoenix (26%) were third and fourth.
On the other end of the spectrum, Nashville was the metropolitan area with the fewest people without any religious affiliation (15%), followed by Charlotte, N.C. (17%), and Atlanta, Dallas, Orlando and Pittsburgh (all with 18%). Some caveats: While many people who don’t believe in God may not attend religious services, there are (of course) faith traditions such as Unitarian Universalism that welcome and include humanists and atheists; many people who might not believe in God may just as likely go to church for spiritual reasons too, or merely because they like it . . .
“The strong religious culture in the South reflects a variety of factors, including history, cultural norms and the fact that these states have high Protestant and black populations — both of which are above average in their self-reported religious service attendance,” according to a separate Gallup survey of over 177,030 U.S. adults this year on church attendance. And 10 of the 12 states with the highest self-reported religious-service attendance are in the South, along with Utah and Oklahoma. (Utah ranked as No. 1 because of the 59% Mormon population there, and Mormons have the highest religious attendance of any major religious group in the U.S.) (Read more from “This Is the Most Godless City in America” HERE)