Catholics, Evangelicals, "Nones" Most Prevalent in U.S.

Baptists are the most prominent Protestant tradition, representing 15 percent of the U.S. population, followed by non-denominational affiliates at 8 percent. (Image courtesy of phanlop88/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Roman Catholics, white evangelical Protestants and religiously unaffiliated are the leading faith traditions in the U.S., the Public Religious Research Institute recently reported .

Nationwide, Catholics and the religiously unaffiliated ("nones") each represent 22 percent of the total population, while white evangelical Protestants make up 18 percent.

In 11 states, Catholics are the leading tradition, comprising 44 percent of the population in Rhode Island, and 38 percent in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

White evangelical Protestants are most prominent in 15 states, with Tennessee having the highest percentage (43). "Nones" were the leading group in 13 states, with the highest percentage in Oregon (37).

At 25 percent, white mainline Protestants were the most prevalent tradition in Iowa and North Dakota, edging out white evangelical Protestants (24 percent) in these states.

"Utah has the largest percentage of one single religious tradition - 56 percent - and is the only state that has a majority of one single tradition," PRRI noted.

Baptists are the most prominent Protestant tradition, representing 15 percent of the U.S. population, followed by non-denominational affiliates at 8 percent.

For comparison, Methodists make up 5 percent of the population, Lutherans (4), Presbyterians (2), Disciples of Christ (2), and Episcopalians and United Church of Christ (1).

Baptists are most prominent in the southeast. The top five states are Mississippi (51 percent), Alabama (44), Arkansas and Tennessee (36), and South Carolina (34).

The states with the lowest percentage of Baptists are Utah (2 percent), North Dakota (3), and Massachusetts and New Hampshire (4).

Baptists were most prominent in the metro areas of Nashville, Tennessee, (31 percent), Charlotte, North Carolina (28), and Atlanta (27), and least prominent in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; and Boston (4 percent),

The findings are based on PRRI's American Values Atlas , an interactive tool that allows users to find information about religion in the U.S. by selecting various criteria.

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