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Author Topic: 2010 Religion Census  (Read 2346 times)
muon2
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« on: May 05, 2012, 05:54:45 pm »

The decennial census of religions was released this week. The website shows the participation by county for a number of denominations. There is also a slide show report released to the press.

Adherents as a fraction of the population by county:


Largest religious group by county:

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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2012, 06:43:21 pm »
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Just as a reminder, this survey counts people in the county they attend religious services, not the county where they live. That explains a bit of the randomness in the first chart, especially for states with smaller counties where plenty of people cross the county line to go to church.
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2012, 06:50:08 pm »
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Hah, I was really confused for a second when I thought Muon's national lab map signature was the third map for the thread Tongue

Just as a reminder, this survey counts people in the county they attend religious services, not the county where they live. That explains a bit of the randomness in the first chart, especially for states with smaller counties where plenty of people cross the county line to go to church.

I kind of wish the Census Bureau asked about religious affiliation just for the numbers, maps, and trends but it's illegal:

http://www.census.gov/prod/www/religion.htm

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Public Law 94-521 prohibits us from asking a question on religious affiliation on a mandatory basis; therefore, the Bureau of the Census is not the source for information on religion.
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2012, 06:55:51 pm »
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The Northwest is so colorful! Cheesy

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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2012, 07:48:17 pm »
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Thanks for putting this up Mike. This kind of stuff always fascinates me, and I have visited upon Glenmary's work before, and appreciated it.

The percentage of adherents figures look bogus to me. Given for example that about 12%-13% or something of the population is black, then that 1.6% for Black Protestants means that only about 15% or so of the blacks are Protestants. Really?  The Catholic percentage of 38% or so also looks way high. It might be closer to 25%.  Maybe the issue is that "adherents" really means "congregants," and those who claim an affiliation, may not be members of any congregation, and far more Catholics tend to be congregants than blacks. Or something.

Oh, my favorite map which I can't find anymore, was the one where the largest plurality of a religion was put up by county excluding Catholics, which reveals the underbelly of many of the underlying divides in this nation, and its history. Suddenly, upstate NY becomes a Methodist belt (the distant echoes of the Great Awakening which had its epicenter up there to start and was John Wesley driven, with so much heat that part of it broke away and fueled Mormanism), and you get to see where the Germans settled by the Lutheran belt, and some oddities in West Virginia, and a few holdout Presbyterian counties in PA (I think Altoona in whatever county it is in might be one), and so forth. I even think the Episcopalians show up in Greenwich. Smiley

« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 08:14:44 pm by Torie »Logged

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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2012, 08:07:55 pm »
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Thanks for putting this up Mike. This kind of stuff always fascinates me, and I have visited upon Glenmary's work before, and appreciated it.

The percentage of adherents figures look bogus to me. Given for example that about 12%-13% or something of the population is black, then that 1.6% for Black Protestants means that only about 15% or so of the blacks are Protestants. Really?  The Catholic percentage of 38% or so also looks way high. It might be closer to 25%.  Maybe the issue is that "adherents" really means "congregants," and those who claim an affiliation, may not be members of any congregation, and far more Catholics tend to be congregants than blacks. Or something.




The first map is a little misleading if you automatically assume those not claimed by a religious group are not religious. For example a lot of Appalachia is not claimed by a religous group, whereas Los Angeles County has a very high participation rate. It's mainly due to Catholic knowing very well how many participants they have, whereas in parts of the country where there are a lot of random small churches, they might not be getting counted in this survey.
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2012, 08:13:03 pm »
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It is all so complex. For example, I self describe myself as a "WASP."  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2012, 08:17:07 pm »

Thanks for putting this up Mike. This kind of stuff always fascinates me, and I have visited upon Glenmary's work before, and appreciated it.

The percentage of adherents figures look bogus to me. Given for example that about 12%-13% or something of the population is black, then that 1.6% for Black Protestants means that only about 15% or so of the blacks are Protestants. Really?  The Catholic percentage of 38% or so also looks way high. It might be closer to 25%.  Maybe the issue is that "adherents" really means "congregants," and those who claim an affiliation, may not be members of any congregation, and far more Catholics tend to be congregants than blacks. Or something.

Oh, my favorite map which I can't find anymore, was the one where the largest plurality of a religion was put up by county excluding Catholics, which reveals the underbelly of many of the underlying divides in this nation, and its history. Suddenly, upstate NY becomes a Methodist belt (the distant echoes of the Great Awakening which had its epicenter up there to start and was John Wesley driven, with so much heat that part of it broke away and fueled Mormanism), and you get to see where the Germans settled by the Lutheran belt, and some oddities in West Virginia, and a few holdout Presbyterian counties in PA (I think Altoona in whatever county it is in might be one), and so forth. I even think the Episcopalians show up in Greenwich. Smiley



This might be the one you were looking for. Smiley

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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2012, 08:21:40 pm »
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Good to see that the Lutherans remain the largest denomination in Newberry County, South Carolina.
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 08:22:18 pm »
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Thanks so much Mike. Is that the updated map, or the old one I could not find?

Utah is clearly screwed up by the way.  Assuming LDS is "other," "other" should surely capture the whole state, along with much more of SE Idaho. Or maybe the LDS are viewed by Glenmary as "non adherents" to any religion. Tongue  Or maybe it is just a Protestant map. I guess that is it isn't it?  Indeed it is. It would have helped to look at the label of the chart!  Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2012, 08:51:25 pm »
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Thanks so much Mike. Is that the updated map, or the old one I could not find?

Utah is clearly screwed up by the way.  Assuming LDS is "other," "other" should surely capture the whole state, along with much more of SE Idaho. Or maybe the LDS are viewed by Glenmary as "non adherents" to any religion. Tongue  Or maybe it is just a Protestant map. I guess that is it isn't it?  Indeed it is. It would have helped to look at the label of the chart!  Tongue

Indeed, if you'd look at the second map in the OP, you'd see that the LDS distribution is slightly more expansive than you thought.

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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2012, 09:04:47 pm »

Thanks so much Mike. Is that the updated map, or the old one I could not find?

Utah is clearly screwed up by the way.  Assuming LDS is "other," "other" should surely capture the whole state, along with much more of SE Idaho. Or maybe the LDS are viewed by Glenmary as "non adherents" to any religion. Tongue  Or maybe it is just a Protestant map. I guess that is it isn't it?  Indeed it is. It would have helped to look at the label of the chart!  Tongue

2010 Protestants, at your service. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2012, 09:22:40 pm »
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The percentage of adherents figures look bogus to me. Given for example that about 12%-13% or something of the population is black, then that 1.6% for Black Protestants means that only about 15% or so of the blacks are Protestants. Really?  The Catholic percentage of 38% or so also looks way high. It might be closer to 25%.  Maybe the issue is that "adherents" really means "congregants," and those who claim an affiliation, may not be members of any congregation, and far more Catholics tend to be congregants than blacks.

From the Powerpoint: "Religion Census 2010 has extensive but incomplete coverage of black protestants.  African American religious bodies have traditionally lacked resources to gather data... Data are most extensive ever aggregated for these groups on the county level, but still incomplete"
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 09:57:37 pm »

Thanks so much Mike. Is that the updated map, or the old one I could not find?

Utah is clearly screwed up by the way.  Assuming LDS is "other," "other" should surely capture the whole state, along with much more of SE Idaho. Or maybe the LDS are viewed by Glenmary as "non adherents" to any religion. Tongue  Or maybe it is just a Protestant map. I guess that is it isn't it?  Indeed it is. It would have helped to look at the label of the chart!  Tongue

Indeed, if you'd look at the second map in the OP, you'd see that the LDS distribution is slightly more expansive than you thought.



This is the breakout of LDS alone.

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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2012, 10:00:12 pm »
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The percentage of adherents figures look bogus to me. Given for example that about 12%-13% or something of the population is black, then that 1.6% for Black Protestants means that only about 15% or so of the blacks are Protestants. Really?  The Catholic percentage of 38% or so also looks way high. It might be closer to 25%.  Maybe the issue is that "adherents" really means "congregants," and those who claim an affiliation, may not be members of any congregation, and far more Catholics tend to be congregants than blacks. Or something.

BK explained one problem with the methodology, but another is that many churches don't have a formal membership, or they do but people are reluctant to join. Interesting and kind of funny article on this sort of thing with one church here: http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2011-05/dismembership-plan

I find the band reference in the title very amusing, just because it's not something I'd ever expect to see a reference to in the Christian Century.

Keep in mind by the way the Black Protestant bit refers only to blacks that go to specific "black Protestant" churches, blacks that go to churches that aren't predominately black are counted as just evangelical or mainline Protestant.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 10:03:52 pm by All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone »Logged

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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2012, 10:06:05 pm »
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Counties with the highest population penetration of some major/notable religious groups:
Baha'i: 5.5% of Marion County, SC (and 10% of total adherents... huh?)
Catholic Church: 100% of Rolette County, ND
Islam: 29% of Emporia City, VA (?)
Mormons: 100.8% of Madison County, ID (lol)
Coptic Orthodox Church: 13.3% of Fairfax City, VA
Conservative Judaism: 7.4% of Fairfax City, VA
Orthodox Judaism: 19.3% of Rockland County, NY
Reform Judaism: 32.6% of Falls Church City, VA
Seventh Day Adventists: 11.4% of Walla Walla County, WA
Southern Baptist: 343.7% of King County, TX (lolol)

Also, some other observations:
  • There are 1,400 Mormon congregations in Salt Lake County, UT.
  • Pentecostal Fire-Baptized Holiness Church is kind of a badass name.
  • My hometown apparently has the country's highest proportion of adherents to the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America, which I didn't even know existed. EDIT: and, googling the church's address, StreetView only shows a vacant lot- that I'm pretty sure was still vacant last time I was there. Huh Will have to swing by there next time I'm in the area to see if there's a church there or what.
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2012, 10:42:21 pm »
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Orange Counties = Freedom Counties



I AM THE 0.1% (in my county)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 10:46:09 pm by All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone »Logged

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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2012, 02:36:27 pm »
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Could "Black Protestant" = AME, while other predominantly African-American congregations in diverse national groups don't count?
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2012, 02:50:12 pm »
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Could "Black Protestant" = AME, while other predominantly African-American congregations in diverse national groups don't count?

Likely. I doubt Obama's church in Chicago would count for instance and the idea of a Lutheran church being counted as a "black church" seems pretty funny but there are in fact predominately black Lutheran churches in the Twin Cities.
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2012, 05:48:44 pm »
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Counties with the highest population penetration of some major/notable religious groups:
Baha'i: 5.5% of Marion County, SC (and 10% of total adherents... huh?)

Apparently the Baha'i managed to evangelize the African-Americans of the area.  They even have a radio station there to spread their gospel. (WLGI - 90.9 FM, Hemingway, SC)
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« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2012, 08:54:22 pm »
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Great maps! It would be interesting to see the second map, but with all the Protestant denominations combined.
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« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2012, 11:40:12 am »
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What's wrong with Appalachia?
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« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2012, 12:13:56 pm »
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What's wrong with Appalachia?

The belt of low participation is an interesting feature. Perhaps it's a reflection of the collapse of the public sphere in economically distressed communities?
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« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2012, 12:16:30 pm »
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Appalachian churches are often the types that don't keep membership reports.
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« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2012, 12:30:14 pm »
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Must be some unique factors at play there, as don't we see the same kind of trend in similar regions.
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