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Religion in Alabama by the numbers

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There’s no doubt that religion plays a major role in the life of Alabamians. It seems like there’s a church on nearly every street corner in this state, and few traits define someone more than their religion.

So what do Alabamians believe these day?

Last month, The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) launched the American Values Atlas (AVA), a “powerful new tool for understanding the complex demographic, religious, and cultural changes occurring in the United States today.”

The PRRI, in partnership with Social Sciences Research Solutions, a survey research firm, created the AVA using data from 50,000 telephone interviews from a random sample of Americans.

“With its large sample size, the AVA provides a rare look at the profiles of smaller religious communities, such as Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, and others, who are often omitted from depictions of the country’s religious population,” says PRRI.

More than anything, the AVA helps provide context for the culture we live in. Here’s a look at the percent of people in Alabama who associate with specific religious traditions, according to the study.

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By far, white evangelical Protestants are the largest group in Alabama at 36%. In fact, 4 out of the 5 largest religious traditions are all a form of Protestantism. Orthodox Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu fall on the bottom of the list with <0.5%.

While this data is helpful, the AVA takes it a step further by providing information on specific denominations as well. Here’s a look at the different religious denominations represented in Alabama.

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At 42%, Baptists are by far the largest denomination in Alabama. Other denominations hardly compare in terms of the percentage of the population that they make up. The second largest group–people who answered as unaffiliated–is 14%, and groups like Presbyterians and Episcopalians are only 2%. Lutherans, Congregational/UCC, Reformed, Protestant Peace Churches, Seventh-Day Adventist and Orthodox Christians all bring up the rear with <.05%.

The AVA provides information on a wide range of key demographics–not just religion. You can find data on marital status, age, race, household income, political party identification and voter registration status. According to the website, in early 2015 the map will be updated with information regarding peoples’ views on issues like abortion, climate change, immigration, inequality and LGBT rights.

Any surprises in Alabama’s religious stats?