Mississippi will be the least densely populated state following the Rapture, if the latest Gallup poll is any indication.
The results of the poll, which aimed to find the union's most and least religious states, were pretty unsurprising:
Southerners and Utahns were the most likely to meet Gallup's criteria for being "very religious" (59% of Mississipians, 57% of Utahns, 56% of Alabamians).
New England, a region founded by those looking to escape religious persecution has since become a place for those looking to escape religion (23% of those living in Vermont and New Hampshire, 25% of respondents in Maine were found to be "very religious").
The results are based on the responses of 353,492 adults.
On the whole, America is still pretty into this religion thing; Gallup identified two thirds of the population as either moderately or very religious.
In phone interviews, 40% Americans stated that religion was an important part of their daily life and that they attend religious services every week or almost every week (Don't know who they think they're fooling; it's definitely "almost" every week), which would, according to Gallup's (and everyone's) standards, make them "very religious." However, almost as great a percentage, 32%, stated they were non-religious.
The most interesting detail of the poll was the relationship it found between a person's religiosity and the so-called "state culture phenomenon." Essentially: states' cultures appear to exert a significant influence over their residents' religious habits, transcending other demographics like race and religion.
For example, while one might expect State of Grace Mississippi to rank near the top of the list because of its large black population (blacks are the most religious of any major ethnic group in the United States and Mississippi has the highest percentage of blacks), its white residents were more likely to meet the criteria for being "highly religious" than whites from other states.
In a similar vein, those who identified as either Catholics or Protestants and lived in State of Disgrace Vermont were found to be less religious than Catholics or Protestants living in the South.
The complete list of rankings is available here.
Before you ask: New York was found to be the 10th least religious state (in a threeway tie with Rhode Island and the District of Columbia).
California fell somewhere in the middle, more religious than Wyoming but less religious than Michigan.
[Image via Getty]