A recent Gallup poll confirms previous reports that Alaska is one of the nation’s least religious states.
According to the most recent poll, nearly three out of four Alaskans say they do not attend weekly religious services and almost 60 percent say they seldom or never attend religious services.
Conducted in 2014, from January to December, the poll included 537 responses from Alaskans and 177,000 responses nationwide.
States with the lowest church attendance are Vermont (17 percent), New Hampshire (20 percent), Maine (20 percent), Massachusetts (22 percent), Washington (24 percent), Oregon (24 percent), Hawaii (25 percent), Colorado (25 percent), Connecticut (25 percent) and Alaska (26 percent).
But the 57 percent of Alaskans who say they seldom or never attend religious services make up the sixth highest in the nation.
This contrasts with states like Utah where slightly more than half of residents say they attend religious services every week, highest in the nation. Residents in the four Southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas are the next most likely to attend church, with 45 to 47 percent reporting weekly attendance.
Church attendance provides an important measure of the way in which Americans view their “personal, underlying religiosity,” The Gallup report states. “In particular, the focus on the top category of ‘weekly’ attendance yields a good indicator of the percentage of each state’s population that is highly religious, and for whom religion is likely to be a significant factor in their daily lives.”
Five of the six New England states rank among the bottom 10 states for church attendance. All other states in the bottom 10 are in the West, including the nation’s three states that are as far as one can go in the northwest corner of the country — Alaska, Washington and Oregon.
Church attendance is related to “Americans’ views on life, culture, society in general and politics,” the Gallup report states. “Church attendance also provides ties that bind members to their communities, and research shows that at the individual level, those who are most religious have higher well-being than those who are less religious.”
The margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point for the recent poll. Margins of error for individual states are no greater than ±6 percentage points, and are ±3 percentage points in most states.