Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Dale Jones on Religious Diversity in the United States as Measured by the 2010 U.S. Religion Census

November 1, 2012

If we limit the measure [of religious diversity] to different world religions, our largest cities and the two coasts are the most diverse. These are the areas where other cultures traditionally arrive first, so it is not surprising that other religions show up stronger here. The million-plus metro with the highest Simpson Index of Diversity is New York, NY-NJ-PA. If we broadly define some religious groupings often recognized in the United States, the West has the strongest diversity index, excluding strongly Catholic southern California and the Mormon corridor of Utah and eastern Idaho. With few dominant religious groups in the rest of the region, smaller groups divide the religious adherents more evenly than in other parts of the country. The million-plus metro with the highest Simpson Index of diversity is Washington, DC-VA-MD-WV.

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