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Largest Religious Groups in the United States of America

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Many people have written to us at Adherents.com asking what are the major religions or churches in just the United States. All of our data is, of course, available on this web site in the main Adherents.com listings (listed by name and by location). For most places it is fairly simple to look up an individual country, state or province in the Location Index. There the user will usually find between 15 to 100 adherent statistics, which provide a good idea of what the major religions are for that place. But the United States has a greater number of religious groups than any other country in the world, and Adherents.com has literally thousands of adherent statistics for the U.S. This page provides some summary lists of the largest religious groups in the United States. Most of the tables on this page are based on self-identification data (which religious groups people actually say they belong to when surveyed), but some lists based on organizational reporting (membership figures from individual denominations) are shown as well:

Note that this page uses the terms “religion”, “branch”, “denominational family” and “religious body” according to the taxonomic classification of religious groups methodology.


Largest Religions in the United States

Unlike some countries, the United States does not include a question about religion in its census, and has not done so for over fifty years. Religious adherent statistics in the U.S. are obtained from surveys and organizational reporting.

U.S. Religious Affiliation, 2002
(self-identification, Pew Research Council)

In February and March 2002 the Pew Research Council conducted a survey of 2,002 adults. Questions about religious preference were included. The results are below:

Religious Preference % June 1996 % March 2001 March 2002
Christian 84 82 82
Jewish 1 1 1
Muslim * 1 *
Other non-Christian 3 2 1
Atheist * 1 1
Agnostic * 2 2
Something else (SPECIFY) * 1 2
No preference 11 8 10
Don’t know/Refused 1 2 1
TOTAL 100 100 100

This table was published in a study titled “Americans Struggle with Religion’s Role at Home and Abroad”, released on March 20, 2002.
The authors listed are:
Andrew Kohut, director of The Pew Research Center For The People & The Press
Melissa Rogers, executive director of The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Methodology:
“The nationwide survey of 2,002 adults, conducted Feb. 25 – March 10 by the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life…”

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