Religion in the United States 2023

Pre-Columbian America, like most indigenous societies, had rich and diverse religious cultures, elements of which remain. But Europeans coming to America brought their own religions with them. Indeed, it was for the freedom to practice these beliefs that many people came to the United States. These communities flourished, and the resulting religious variety helped give rise to a highly unique and important contribution to world religions-the most fundamental commitment to religious pluralism and freedom.

Religion in the United States is diverse, with Christianity being the majority religion and Protestantism as its largest branch. The United States has the world’s largest Christian population and, more specifically, contains the largest Protestant population in the world. 

Due to immigration from Asian countries, non-Christians faiths are also on rise. Jewish, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism are the main minority religions.

The United States census does not contain questions about one’s religious affiliation. Our Article is based on surveys conducted by various institutions like the Pew Research center. 

US Religion Percentage

The United States has the world’s largest Christian population. According to the Pew Research Center (2014), Christianity with 70.60% followers is the largest religion in the United States. Among Christians Protestant churches (46.6%) have the most adherents followed by Roman Catholics (20.8%), Mormons (1.6%), Orthodox Christians (0.5%), Jehovah’s Witness (0.8%), and other Christians.

People with no formal religious identity form 22.8% of the total population. Irreligious or no religion ( 15.80%). Atheist (3.10%),  Agnostic (4%) and 0.60% Don’t Know 

Judaism is the second-largest religion in the U.S., practiced by 2% of the population, followed by Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.

Let’s look at the Religion percentage in the United States (as per Pew research center, 2014)

– Protestant 46.6%
– Roman Catholic20.8%
– Mormon1.60%
– Orthodox Christian0.50%
– Jehovah’s Witness0.80%
– Other Christians0.40%
Non- Christian Faiths5.90%
– Jewish1.90%
– Muslim 0.90%
– Hindu0.70%
– Buddhist0.70%
– Other religions0.30%
– Other Faiths1.50%
– Atheist3.10%
– Agnostic4%
– Nothing15.80%
– Don’t Know0.60%

Source: Pew Research Center, 2014

Christianity in United States

Christianity with 70.60% followers is the largest religion in the United States. Christianity is the predominant religion in all US states and territories. Recent surveys show that religious “nones” (people who describe themselves, religiously, as an atheist, agnostic, or simply “nothing in particular”) has been growing as a share of the U.S. adult population and Christians have been declining for quite some time.

All Protestant denominations accounted for 46.9% of the population, making Protestantism the most prevalent form of Christianity in the country and the majority religion in general in the United States.

Protestantism is divided into three distinct traditions – Evangelical Protestant (25.3%); Mainline Protestant (14.7%); and historically black Protestant (6.5%). 

Catholics are 20.8% of the United States population and are the largest individual denomination if Protestantism is divided into various denominations instead of being counted as a single category. The nation’s second-largest church and the single largest Protestant denomination is the Southern Baptist Convention.

Among Eastern Christian denominations, there are several Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, with just below 1 million adherents in the US, or 0.5% of the total population. 

Rest include Mormons (1.6%), Jehovah’s Witnesses (0.8%), and other smaller denominations. 

Christian AffiliationsPercentage of US Pop.
Protestant 46.6%
–  Evangelical Protestant 25.4%
–  Mainline 14.7%
–  Black Church 6.5%
Roman Catholic20.8%
Orthodox Christian0.5%
Jehovah’s Witness0.8%
Other Christians0.4%

SourcePew Research Center, 2014

Protestantism in the United States

Among Christians in the United States, Protestants are the largest group comprising about 46.6% of the country’s population. The United States has the largest Protestant population of any country in the world.  

Twelve of the original Thirteen Colonies were Protestant, with only Maryland having a sizable Catholic population. Protestants are in majority in 45 states, Only Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York has Catholics in the majority. In Utah state, Mormons are in majority.

Protestantism in the U.S. is not homogeneous; rather, it is divided into three distinct traditions – evangelical Protestant churches (25.3% of the overall adult population and roughly one-half of all Protestants); mainline Protestant churches (14.7% of the adult population and more than one-third of all Protestants); and historically black Protestant churches (6.5% of the overall adult population).

Protestants by tradition 
Protestant’s Affiliation by Tradition% of U.S. population
Evangelical Protestant25.4
Mainline Protestant14.7
Historically black Protestant6.5

Protestantism is also comprised of numerous denominational families (e.g., Baptist, Methodist, and Pentecostal) that fit into one or more of the traditions.  To understand and in detail please read Protestantism in the United States

Source: Pew Research Center, 2014

Catholics in the United States

Catholic Church at 20.6 % of the US population is the United States’ second largest religious grouping, after Protestantism.  The United States has the fourth largest Catholic population in the world, after Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Though Catholic adherents are present throughout the country, Catholics are generally more concentrated in the Northeast and urban Midwest. In a 2021 Pew Research study, “21% of US adults described themselves as Catholic. In absolute numbers, Catholics are 72 million. As of April 9, 2018, 39% of American Catholics attend church weekly, compared to 45% of American Protestants.

The Largest states by Catholic percentage are Rhode Island (42%), Massachusetts (34%),  New Jersey (34%), New Mexico (34%), and  Connecticut (33%).  The States by least percentage of Catholics are  Mississippi (4%), Utah (5%),  Tennessee (6%), West Virginia (6%), and  Alabama (7%)

Other Christians in the United States

There are significant numbers of other minority Christian denominations in the United States. They account for nearly 3.3% of the US population, and the main groups are Mormons, Orthodox Christians, and Jehovah’s Witnesses (about 13 million in total). 

Latter Day Saint movement (Mormon) – 1.6 %

Mormons are a religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, the principal branch of the Latter Day Saint movement started by Joseph Smith in upstate New York during the 1820s. Now It also has subgroups, the main and biggest is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, followed by the Community of Christ. Other subgroups are smaller and not specified.

  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints  
  • Community of Christ 
  • Mormon not further specified

Jehovah’s Witness – 0.8 %

Jehovah’s Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity.  The group reports a worldwide membership of approximately 8.7 million adherents involved in evangelism and an annual Memorial attendance of over 21 million.

Orthodox Christians – 0.5%

The United States has two main branches of Eastern Christianity, one brought to America by Greek, Ukrainian, Serbian, and other immigrant groups, mainly from Eastern Europe. Other immigrant groups from the Middle East, mainly Armenians, Copts, and Syriacs, brought Oriental Orthodoxy to America.

  • Greek Orthodox 
  • Russian Orthodox 
  • Other Orthodox churches

Other Smaller Christian 0.4%

  • Metaphysical
  • Spiritualist
  • Unity Church (Christ Church)
  • Others

Other Religions in the United States

Other major faith traditions in the U.S. include Jews (1.9% of the adult population), Buddhists (0.7%), Muslims (0.9%), Hindus (0.7%), and members of other world religions, including Baha’is, Zoroastrians, and others (which together account for less than 0.3% of the population).

Members of a variety of other faiths, including Unitarians, New Age groups, and Native American religions, combine to make up an additional 1.5% of the population.

  • Non- Christian Faiths (5.90%)
    –  Jewish 1.9%
    –  Muslim  0.9%
    –  Hindu 0.7%
    –  Buddhist 0.7%
    –  Other religions 0.3%
    –  Other Faiths 1.5%
Judaism in the United States

The United States has the second largest Jewish population in the world. Jewish population forms the largest non-Christian religious affiliation in the United States (1.9%), with most residing in the northeastern states such as New York and New Jersey.

According to the Pew Research Center, 35% identify with the Reform movement, 18% identify with the Conservative movement, 10% identify with the Orthodox tradition, 6% identify with other streams of Judaism, and 30% do not identify with any particular Jewish denomination.

Hinduism in the United States 

The Hindu Population in the United States is relatively small but one of the fastest growing. 0.7% of the US population identifies as Hindu. Most of America’s Hindus are immigrants (87%) and the overwhelming majority identify as Indians (91%). There are approximately 450 Hindu temples around the United States. California has the largest Hindu population in the US followed by New York and New Jersey.

Islam in the United States

As per the estimates, there are roughly 3.45 million Muslims in the United States, making up about 1.1% of the total population. Of those who identify as Muslim, approximately 55% identify as Sunni, 16% identify as Shi’ite and 14% do not identify with a specific denomination of Islam. The Muslim population in the United States is majority from migration from South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Buddhism in the United States

The Buddhist population in the United States is also relatively small, with 0.7% of the population identifying as Buddhist. America’s Buddhist communities include a range of ethnic or racial backgrounds, including white (44%), Asian (33%), Latino (12%), other or mixed (8%), and African American (3%)

US States by Religion Percentage

Protestants are in majority in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Only Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York has Catholicism in the majority. In Utah state, Mormons are in majority. Now several states have a growing percentage of the irreligious population, In fact in Vermont (37%), New Hampshire (36%), and Massachusetts (32%) the irregulars have the largest denominations. 

Let’s Look at US states by Religious percentage. (To know more about a particular state’s religious information please click on it.)

StatesProtestant (%)Catholic (%)Other Christian (%)Other  Religion(%)Irreligion (%)
Florida 46213624
New Hampshire30263536
New Jersey313431418
New Mexico38343421
New York (state)263121227
North Carolina6693320
North Dakota51260320
Rhode Island30423520
South Carolina66103319
South Dakota 57220318
Washington (state)40176632
Washington DC – District of Columbia41203925
West Virginia7062318
Religion in the United States 2023 | Christianity in United States