Thursday, March 01, 2012

Religious preference is geographic

There is a very nice website with maps of the religious preferences of people in the United States. Here are a couple of their maps:

I assume that the relatively high portion of Catholics in a band from southern Texas to southern California represents the Hispanic populations of the region. Are the Louisiana Catholics a remnant of the French and Cajun heritage of the region? The Catholics in the north eastern states may represent the Irish and Italian immigration of the 19th century.

The Baptists are concentrated in the Confederate South.

I find it interesting to see the very different patterns of Catholic and Baptist immigration. The Lutherans are concentrated in the north central region, especially the Dakotas. Mormons are clustered around Utah.

Not surprisingly, the religious maps tell us quite a bit about political culture as well. Here is the New York Times election map for the presidential election of 2008:

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