Thursday, February 12, 2009

Religion by State: What's the Influence?

A New Gallup poll is out on religion in America, and here is a map of the results:

Of interest to me is how well this maps onto the presidential results. Obama won 25 of the 31 states that rated as average or less, whereas McCain won 16 of the 19 that rated as more or most religious. Our politics is becoming the religious vs the not-so-religious.

Also, be sure to check out Ed Brayton's analysis comparing these results to the data on issues that social conservatives claim will be made better if we'd just get some more of that old fashioned religion:

"Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, while the other three least religious states all rank in the top half of the states for lowest divorce rates, all below 4.4 per 1000. Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee all rank among the 11 highest states for rates of divorce with rates above 5.7 per 1000; South Carolina is 19th with a rate of 4.2.

How about out of wedlock births? The most recent data I could find easily is here. And it shows for the most religious states:

Mississippi: 45.5%
South Carolina: 38.7%
Tennessee: 34.9%
Alabama: 34.1%

And the least religious states:

New Hampshire: 24.1%
Massachusetts: 26.1%
Vermont: 28%
Maine: 30.6%

And finally, teen pregnancy, where all of the most religious states are in the top 10:

Mississippi: 20.9%
Alabama: 17.1%
South Carolina: 16.0%
Tennessee: 15.9%

And all of the least religious states are in the bottom 10:

Massachusetts 7.2%
New Hampshire 7.7%
Vermont 7.9%
Maine 9.8%"

Amazing isn't it? Yet in good faith-based fashion, they'll keep ignoring the data and chanting their mantras.


tangobaby said...

Oh fabulous. I'm sure the Bible already predicted all of this anyway. Or Nostradamus.

alex said...

You might want to state a little blurb about correlation <> causation.

ScienceAvenger said...

I suppose I could Alex, but some might misunderstand it and think I'm putting an asterisk on the value of the evidence in question. Some people are too eger to dismiss troublesome evidence by saying "correlation <> causality" without really looking to see if there is evidence for causality, or before considering that the point is that a lack of correlation refutes the opposite claim of causality. I'll save the corr <> caus discussion for when I see someone make that error.

Troublesome Frog said...

Correlation and causation are correlated, though...