Gallup publishes in February of each year a survey of the extent of self-described religiosity in each state; and they report that religiosity is rising throughout the country.
Gallup headlined this year's survey on February 3rd, "Mississippi Maintains Hold as Most Religious U.S. State; Vermont is the least religious." Last year, it was "Mississippi Most Religious State, Vermont Least Religious." No change there: in fact, the rank-orders of the 50 states (plus D.C.) are almost unchanged during the past 12 months.
What's notable is instead that the percentages of people saying that they are "Very religious" have increased in almost every state. For example, whereas last year, 58% of Mississippians said that they were "Very religious," it's 61% now. And whereas 19% of Vermonters last year said that they were "Very religious," it's 22% now. The median state is Ohio: it's the 25th-most-religious state this year, just as it, too, was last year (again, no change in rank); and, whereas last year 38% of Ohioans said that they were "Very religious," that's now risen to 41%.
Across the board, the percentage of Americans who describe themselves as "Very religious" has increased from about 38% to about 41%. At the opposite end, only about 28% of Americans are "Nonreligious" today; whereas, a year ago, about 31% described themselves that way.
Perhaps, as Americans become disenchanted with both politics and economics (the two main secular means of dealing with social problems), they move toward religion in their hopes for solutions and improvement in their conditions.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .