Society & Culture

Windham, Bennington counties among 10 ‘least religious’ counties in U.S.

Tripadvisor photo of Old First Church (Congregational) in Bennington, built in 1805. The burial place of poet Robert Frost and named “Vermont’s Colonial Shrine” by the Legislature, Old First Church holds Sunday services at 10 AM July and August, 11 am September – June, all are welcome.

by Guy Page

According to a 2020 census study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI.org) released last week, Vermont’s two southernmost counties are also the least religious – so much so that they made the top 10 of the least religious counties in the country.

Religiously unaffiliated Americans make up 23% of the U.S. population as of 2020, PRRI said. Religiously unaffiliated Americans are spread throughout the country but are most concentrated in the West and the Northeast.

The 10 highest concentrations of religiously unaffiliated Americans in counties with greater than 10,000 residents are:
San Juan County, Washington (49%)
Multnomah County, Oregon (48%)
Glacier County, Montana (45%)
Humboldt County, California (45%)
Tompkins County, New York (45%)
Windham County, Vermont (45%)
Pitkin County, Colorado (45%)
Benton County, Oregon (44%)
Jefferson County, Washington (44%)
Bennington County, Vermont (44%).

Politically, that news bodes well for Democrats and independents. “Religiously unaffiliated Americans are primarily independents and Democrats: 16% identify as Republican, 35% identify as Democrat, and 46% identify as independent,” PRRI said. At present the only elected Republican in the Legislature from either county is Bennington Rep. Mary Morrissey.

PRRI also reports that the number of Americans who identify as White and Christian rose slightly in 2019-2020: “Over the last few decades, the proportion of the U.S. population that is white Christian has declined by nearly one-third. As recently as 1996, almost two-thirds of Americans (65%) identified as white and Christian. By 2006, that had declined to 54%, and by 2017 it was down to 43%[4]. The proportion of white Christians hit a low point in 2018, at 42%, and rebounded slightly in 2019 and 2020, to 44%. That tick upward indicates the decline is slowing from its pace of losing roughly 11% per decade.”

Categories: Society & Culture

5 replies »

  1. I’d be interested in knowing how the polling question was posed..what does “religiously unaffiliated” mean? One can be unaffiliated with a specific faith or church, but still be faithful & believe in God. I suppose Unaffiliated is not necessarily synonymous with atheism or even being an agnostic.

  2. Saw reference made to the 2020 census. My opinion is the government has no right to know what my religion or religious beliefs and affiliations are.

  3. One of My Favorite Town GOP chairs down here . Every time Pollsters Called him , he said he was Voting for Biden . No Bigger Trump Supporter lives in his Town . God Lives in the Forest

  4. If the word “religion” was used to ask these questions, what do the resulting numbers really mean?
    A “religion” is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe. If this meaning was correctly understood and answered honestly by those being asked, the results would obviously be very different.

    Looking at the locations of the 10 highest concentrations of those reporting they are “religiously unaffiliated,” it’s easy to conclude the results cannot be taken seriously. These areas listed ARE some of the MOST LEFTIST, SOCIALISTIC, OUT OF CONTROL areas of our Country where many varied “religions” are practiced with the most prevalent being the worship of: nature, self, anarchy and witchcraft.

    If those who are questioning people want a true answer about whether they believe in GOD, such as the GOD of the Bible, they should have asked that question directly to get accurate results.

  5. Father God is waiting patiently before he activates another Red Sea moment – get ready or fall behind…believe it or not.

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