WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — A new Gallup poll shows that nearly 70 percent of Americans find religion plays an important role in their lives.

The poll finds that 40 percent classify themselves as very religious, saying they attend church services every week or every other week. Twenty-eight percent told Gallup that they were moderately religious, saying that religion is important to them but do not attend services on a weekly basis.

Thirty-two percent defined themselves as nonreligious, telling Gallup that religion does not play an important role in their lives.

The nation’s “Bible Belt” proved its name in the poll, as the most religious states came from the South. Mississippi came in as the most religious state with 59 percent of responders saying religion plays an important role. Next comes Utah at 56 percent, then Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee and North Carolina.

The nation’s least religious states came from the Northeast. Only 23 percent of people in Vermont and New Hampshire consider themselves very religious. Maine comes in next at 25 percent, followed by Massachusetts, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington state.

The poll concludes that the most religious states tend to lean Republican while the least religious states primarily voted for Democrats.

The poll conducted telephone interviews with more than 350,000 people between Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2011 in all 50 states.


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