If you think religion, which U.S. city first comes to mind?
While we know that a city with many places of worship doesn’t necessarily become a “religious city,” we were still curious to find which of the largest metropolises have the most religious venues per population density. For this, we looked into our database of over 18 million properties and, for the cities we took into account, we counted the properties which are considered “for religious use.”
Results: If you thought one of the Bible Belt locales made it to the #1 spot, you’re miles away from the truth. The highest on the list, as you can see in the slideshow below, is Indianapolis, IN with one religious venue for every 289 people.
#2 in the list is Seattle, WA with one religious place for every 481 people. Seattle’s case, in fact, is rather insightful, since an analysis recently run by the nonpartisan and nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) reveals that in this city the percentage of religiously unaffiliated residents is 33%, which also ranks Seattle as the 2nd city in the U.S. by number of residents not following religion.
As for the rest, take a look at our slideshow featuring the top 20 US cities with the most religious places per population:
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Cities with Many Religious Venues vs. Cities with Many Religiously Unaffiliated People
As shown by the Public Religion Research Institute’s analysis, the top 5 most religiously unaffiliated US cities are in the West: Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, and Phoenix. You’re probably not that surprised to see this, but if you take a look back at our list you’ll see that 3 of these cities also rank quite high in terms of numbers of religious venues per population density.
Seattle was already mentioned above, but San Francisco and Phoenix are also interesting cases.
In the Phoenix Metropolitan area, 26% of the population say they are not affiliated to any organized religion; still, there is one place of worship for as few as 1,300 people. San Francisco counts 33% of its inhabitants as religiously unaffiliated and yet has one religious place for every 1,565 people.
Check out the graphic below to see how other cities did: