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As guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, the United States government was founded on the principle of separation of church and state. The First Amendment also protects the individual’s right to practice the religion of their choice. Partially because of that guarantee, organized religion is an integral part of American identity and culture — in some parts of the country more than others.

Participation in organized religion varies considerably across the United States. In Maine, just 27.6% of the population regularly attends worship services. Meanwhile, in Utah 79.1% of the population does. Even within states, residents of some areas are far more likely to attend religious services than others.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the number of Americans who worship in every county as a percentage of the county’s total population to identify the most religious county in every state. Every state is home to at least one county where the number of religious adherents is equal to at least 45% of the overall population. In all but five counties on this list, religious service attendees number more than half the county’s population.

1. Jefferson County, Alabama

  •  Religious service attendance: 83.9.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 62.9% of state pop. (3rd highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 18 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 22 per 10,000 people (4th highest)

2. Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska

  • Religious service attendance: 86.8.% of county pop.
  • Religious service attendance: 33.9% of state pop. (4th lowest)
  • Congregations in county: 35 per 10,000 people
  • Congregations in state: 18 per 10,000 people (9th highest)

3. Graham County, Arizona

  •  Religious service attendance: 55.2.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 37.2% of state pop. (9th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 17 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 7 per 10,000 people (8th lowest)

4. Ouachita County, Arkansas

  •  Religious service attendance: 91.7.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 55.4% of state pop. (13th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 50 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 23 per 10,000 people (2nd highest)

5. Mono County, California

  •  Religious service attendance: 96.1.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 45.0% of state pop. (21st lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 11 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 6 per 10,000 people (4th lowest)

6. Kiowa County, Colorado

  •  Religious service attendance: 115.3.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 37.8% of state pop. (10th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 57 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 8 per 10,000 people (11th lowest)

7. Fairfield County, Connecticut

  •  Religious service attendance: 63.2.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 51.2% of state pop. (22nd highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 7 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 7 per 10,000 people (8th lowest)

8. New Castle County, Delaware

  •  Religious service attendance: 46.5.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 41.8% of state pop. (16th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 8 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 9 per 10,000 people (14th lowest)

9. Jefferson County, Florida

  •  Religious service attendance: 61.0.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 39.1% of state pop. (12th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 35 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 8 per 10,000 people (11th lowest)

10. Rabun County, Georgia

  •  Religious service attendance: 82.9.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 50.8% of state pop. (25th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 30 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 13 per 10,000 people (23rd highest)

11. Hawaii County, Hawaii

  •  Religious service attendance: 49.5.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 41.3% of state pop. (14th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 15 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 10 per 10,000 people (17th lowest)

12. Madison County, Idaho

  •  Religious service attendance: 102.8.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 51.1% of state pop. (24th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 43 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 15 per 10,000 people (19th highest)

13. Clay County, Illinois

  •  Religious service attendance: 79.5.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 55.3% of state pop. (14th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 38 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 10 per 10,000 people (17th lowest)

14. Benton County, Indiana

  •  Religious service attendance: 78.7.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 44.3% of state pop. (19th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 28 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 14 per 10,000 people (21st highest)

15. Kossuth County, Iowa

  •  Religious service attendance: 89.4.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 53.9% of state pop. (17th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 28 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 17 per 10,000 people (13th highest)

16. Ness County, Kansas

  •  Religious service attendance: 95.1.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 50.6% of state pop. (25th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 58 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 17 per 10,000 people (13th highest)

17. Hickman County, Kentucky

  •  Religious service attendance: 106.5.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 51.6% of state pop. (21st highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 65 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 18 per 10,000 people (9th highest)

18. Sabine Parish, Louisiana

  •  Religious service attendance: 81.8.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 60.6% of state pop. (4th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 42 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 13 per 10,000 people (23rd highest)

19. Aroostook County, Maine

  •  Religious service attendance: 46.5.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 27.6% of state pop. (the lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 18 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 12 per 10,000 people (25th lowest)

20. Calvert County, Maryland

  •  Religious service attendance: 62.1.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 41.8% of state pop. (16th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 8 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 9 per 10,000 people (14th lowest)

21. Norfolk County, Massachusetts

  •  Religious service attendance: 64.7.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 57.2% of state pop. (8th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 5 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 6 per 10,000 people (4th lowest)

22. Dickinson County, Michigan

  •  Religious service attendance: 68.5.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 42.1% of state pop. (17th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 18 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 10 per 10,000 people (17th lowest)

23. Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota

  •  Religious service attendance: 95.8.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 56.3% of state pop. (9th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 41 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 11 per 10,000 people (21st lowest)

24. Yalobusha County, Mississippi

  •  Religious service attendance: 105.6.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 58.7% of state pop. (6th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 48 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 23 per 10,000 people (2nd highest)

25. Grundy County, Missouri

  •  Religious service attendance: 90.2.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 49.3% of state pop. (23rd lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 49 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 15 per 10,000 people (19th highest)

26. Sheridan County, Montana

  •  Religious service attendance: 108.7.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 38.1% of state pop. (11th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 77 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 18 per 10,000 people (9th highest)

27. Thayer County, Nebraska

  •  Religious service attendance: 98.5.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 55.7% of state pop. (10th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 65 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 16 per 10,000 people (18th highest)

28. White Pine County, Nevada

  •  Religious service attendance: 61.1.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 34.4% of state pop. (5th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 16 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 5 per 10,000 people (the lowest)

29. Coos County, New Hampshire

  •  Religious service attendance: 48.8.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 35.2% of state pop. (7th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 15 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 8 per 10,000 people (11th lowest)

30. Union County, New Jersey

  •  Religious service attendance: 66.2.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 54.7% of state pop. (16th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 7 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 7 per 10,000 people (8th lowest)

31. Harding County, New Mexico

  •  Religious service attendance: 123.5.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 50.1% of state pop. (24th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 86 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 12 per 10,000 people (25th lowest)

32. Rockland County, New York

  •  Religious service attendance: 68.8.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 51.2% of state pop. (22nd highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 10 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 7 per 10,000 people (8th lowest)

33. Clay County, North Carolina

  •  Religious service attendance: 93.8.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 47.9% of state pop. (22nd lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 43 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 17 per 10,000 people (13th highest)

34. Foster County, North Dakota

  •  Religious service attendance: 141.4.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 67.1% of state pop. (2nd highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 45 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 22 per 10,000 people (4th highest)

35. Putnam County, Ohio

  •  Religious service attendance: 78.5.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 44.0% of state pop. (18th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 14 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 12 per 10,000 people (25th lowest)

36. Harmon County, Oklahoma

  •  Religious service attendance: 141.1.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 59.3% of state pop. (5th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 44 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 19 per 10,000 people (8th highest)

37. Malheur County, Oregon

  •  Religious service attendance: 58.1.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 31.2% of state pop. (2nd lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 21 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 11 per 10,000 people (21st lowest)

38. Elk County, Pennsylvania

  •  Religious service attendance: 88.7.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 53.8% of state pop. (18th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 14 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 12 per 10,000 people (25th lowest)

39. Bristol County, Rhode Island

  •  Religious service attendance: 83.5.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 54.8% of state pop. (15th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 5 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 6 per 10,000 people (4th lowest)

40. Union County, South Carolina

  •  Religious service attendance: 80.8.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 52.2% of state pop. (20th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 31 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 17 per 10,000 people (13th highest)

41. Hyde County, South Dakota

  •  Religious service attendance: 143.1.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 58.6% of state pop. (7th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 49 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 22 per 10,000 people (4th highest)

42. Hancock County, Tennessee

  •  Religious service attendance: 85.0.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 55.5% of state pop. (12th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 54 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 18 per 10,000 people (9th highest)

43. Terrell County, Texas

  •  Religious service attendance: 109.7.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 55.7% of state pop. (10th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 81 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 11 per 10,000 people (21st lowest)

44. Utah County, Utah

  •  Religious service attendance: 90.9.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 79.1% of state pop. (the highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 26 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 20 per 10,000 people (7th highest)

45. Grand Isle County, Vermont

  •  Religious service attendance: 47.0.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 33.6% of state pop. (3rd lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 14 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 14 per 10,000 people (21st highest)

46. Fredericksburg City, Virginia

  •  Religious service attendance: 192.5.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 44.8% of state pop. (20th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 31 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 13 per 10,000 people (23rd highest)

47. Garfield County, Washington

  •  Religious service attendance: 60.1.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 34.6% of state pop. (6th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 22 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 9 per 10,000 people (14th lowest)

48. Ohio County, West Virginia

  •  Religious service attendance: 63.1.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 35.5% of state pop. (8th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 17 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 24 per 10,000 people (the highest)

49. Taylor County, Wisconsin

  •  Religious service attendance: 74.3.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 53.6% of state pop. (19th highest)
  •  Congregations in county: 18 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 11 per 10,000 people (21st lowest)

50. Lincoln County, Wyoming

  •  Religious service attendance: 63.0.% of county pop.
  •  Religious service attendance: 39.6% of state pop. (13th lowest)
  •  Congregations in county: 28 per 10,000 people
  •  Congregations in state: 17 per 10,000 people (13th highest)

Because some religious Americans travel to churches, synagogues, and mosques outside of their home county to worship — often to megachurches with attendance in the thousands — many of the counties on this list claim more religious adherents than their total population. In the independent city of Fredericksburg, a small urban county equivalent in Virginia that is home to a branch of the Lifepoint Church, the number of people who attend religious services in the county is nearly double the county’s total population.

Partially because some churches and other places of worship are designed to hold hundreds and thousands of people, counties where the largest shares of the population are religious do not necessarily have a high number of congregations. Still, 41 of the 50 counties on this list have more congregations per capita than their respective state.

While the counties on this list often have little in common aside from widespread religious affiliation among residents, there are some broad socioeconomic patterns across the spectrum.

For example, though not always especially poor places, the majority of counties on this list have a lower median household income than their respective state. The pattern holds across a broader sample of U.S. counties as well. Of the 278 counties with religious participation rates of at least 75%, 222 have median household incomes below the household income typical of the respective state.

More religious counties are also generally less educated. Of the 278 counties nationwide with at least 75% religious attendance, just 21 are home to a larger share of adults with a four-year college education than their respective state.

The most religious counties are also more likely to consist of larger-than-typical shares of American-born residents. Forty-three of the 50 counties on this list have a proportionally larger native-born population than their home state as a whole.

The United States is home to multiple religious groups — many of which claim millions of followers — including Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism. Christianity, however, is overwhelmingly the most popular religion in the United States. According to a recent study conducted by Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan think tank, some 70.6% of Americans identify as Christians. Evangelical Protestantism is the most common denomination of Christianity, accounting for 25.4% of the population, followed by Catholicism, which accounts for 20.8% of the population.

To identify the most religious county in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the number of people as a percent of the total population in each county or county equivalent who are affiliated with a religious congregation based on data from the U.S. Religion Census, a group sponsored by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies. All ASARB data are for 2010, the most recent year available. For Alaska, Wade Hampton Census Area was renamed Kusilvak Census Area in 2015, and our data has been updated accordingly. State and county educational attainment, median household income, and the share of the population born in the United States came from the U.S Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and are also for 2010.

24/7 Wall Street is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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