The United States of America was founded principally on Christian faith. Today, most Americans identify themselves with Christianity. But do you know what the runner-up religions are?
Glance at the map above, Second Largest Religious Tradition in Each State 2010, and you will see that Buddhism (orange), Judaism (pink) and Islam (blue) are the runner-up religions across the country.
No surprises there. But can you believe that Hindu (dark orange) is the No. 2 tradition in Arizona and Delaware, and that Baha'i (green) ranks second in South Carolina?
The map — created by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies and published recently in The Washington Post — “looks very odd to me,” says Hillary Kaell. She is a professor at Concordia University in Montreal who specializes in North American Christianity. “These numbers, although they look impressive when laid out in the map, represent a very tiny fraction of the population in any of the states listed.”
True that. Christianity is the Number One religious tradition across the board. A 2012 Gallup poll showed that 77 percent of Americans identify as Christians. But a deeper look into the stories behind the map's data reveal a bit more about a nation in flux.