In 2015, the Washington Post made a simple article about which states were the most democratic or republican. Most people won’t be surprised by the way this graphic looks after the election that occurred in 2016 which confirmed many of the predictions this graph made. Now take a look at this graphic and see if you can see any similarities or correlations:
This graphic is from a Pew Research Center study and it show the percentage of adults in each state that are highly religious using a simple color scheme. Most often people will try and make a correlation between republicans and being highly religious. This stereotype seems to be somewhat true when these graphics are corroborated. There are 15 states that are dedicated to be republican, and are colored red, in the top graphic. However, there are only 3 of those states that are colored dark blue on the bottom graphic: Utah (UT), Alabama (AL), and Tennessee (TN). These three states are all highly religious and undoubtedly republican, proving the argument that Republican states are more religious. In addition, when all of the red states from the first graphic are examined in the second graphic they all appear as a darker shade of blue except for Alaska (AK), and Montana (MT). Therefore, 13 out of the 15 republican states are highly religious.
Now lets examine the democratic states. There are 17 states in the graphic above that are shown to be blue, or demographic. Out of all of the democratic states, 9 out of the 17 are colored a light shade of blue in the religiosity by state graphic. These less religious democratic states are: California (CA), Oregon (OR), Washington (WA), Maine (ME), Vermont (VT), Massachusetts (MA), Rhode Island (RI), Connecticut (CT), and New York (NY). Since a majority of the democratic states are shown to be less religious by their light coloring of blue in the second graphic, it shows that democratic states aren’t very religious.
When the amount of non-religious democratic and republican states are compared, the ratios prove that republican states are on average more religious. Out of all of the Republican states, 13 out of the 15 are highly religious, and out of the democratic states only 8 out of the 17 are highly religious. Since 13/15 is a much higher ratio than 8/17, it is clear that the republican states are more religious.
Some things to consider when observing this data is that, these graphics are dated, and the Party Identification graphic is specific to the past election, meaning that it may not be accurate to how republican or democratic the states have been over time. I hope this was helpful to all those curious about if there really was a correlation, and I hope that from now on those who read this will be educated about the correlation.
Pew Research Center Study: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/29/how-religious-is-your-state/?state=alabama
Washington Post Graph: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2015/02/06/map-the-most-democratic-and-republican-states/?utm_term=.cdcfbc330151