SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Springfield-area residents are among the least religious people in the country, according to a new Gallup survey , which found 51% of local residents to be not religious at all.
In the new study, released just before Easter weekend, the region tied with Madison, Wisconsin and nearby Albany, New York for tenth place as the least-religious metropolitan areas in the United States.
The survey, which was taken over the course of the last year, included data from 189 metropolitan areas across the country. The areas were ranked by religiosity based on church attendance and whether their residents consider religion important in their lives.
Based on those questions, 51% of Springfield-area residents are considered to be "not religious," 22.4% are considered "moderately religious" (meaning they occasionally attend religious services or say religion is somewhat important in their lives), and 25.9% are considered "very religious."
The results for Springfield are in sharp contrast to the country as a whole, where Gallup found 40% of respondents nationwide are "very religious." Still, in terms of religiosity the area is not out-of-step with the region as a whole.
Gallup found the least religious area in the United States to be Burlington, Vermont, where 63.8% of the population was found to be "not religious," and only 17.2% are considered "very religious." The Manchester, New Hampshire, Portland, Maine, and Boston areas were also found to be less religious than Greater Springfield.
Slightly more religious nearby areas include Norwich-New London, Connecticut (27% very religious), Providence, RI-New Bedford-Fall River (28% very religious), Hartford, Connecticut (29.7% very religious), Worcester (30.2% very religious), and Barnstable (31% very religious).
The most religious metropolitan area in New England was New Haven, Connecticut, with 31.7% of residents considering themselves very religious and 37.6% of residents being non-religious. Still, that is substantially lower than the nation's most-religious metro area: Provo-Orem, Utah, where 77.2% of the population is considered very religious.