0.8% don’t know what their present religion is?


In reading about demographics I’ve come across a number of references to the percentage of UUs per population.   A post by Christopher Walton summarizes the data as follows:

The 2001 American Religious Identification Survey, which had also asked individuals how they identified themselves religiously, also identified approximately 0.3 percent of the population as Unitarian Universalists, or 629,000 adults in 2001. So, as a religious brand, Unitarian Universalism is holding steady at 0.3 percent as the overall population grows.

Interesting, there is US census data from a 2007 survey which lumps us in with “other liberal faiths” for a total of 0.7% of the population.  I’m amazed that in response to the survey question “What’s your present religion, if any?” 0.8% said they don’t know. Don’t know is a lot different than NO RELIGION.  Source.

  • 0.7%  Unitarians and other liberal faiths  (wonder which liberal faiths they are)
  • 0.4%  New Age including “Wica (Wiccan), pagan, and other New Age  groups.”
  • 16.1% Unaffiliated including “Atheist, agnostic, and nothing in particular.”
  • 0.8% Don’t Know

Wonder how many of the over 16% of the population listed above would enjoy participating in a UU congregation? I know we’re not running TIME ads, but how about one like this:

Don’t know what your religion is or should be? Come learn about the worlds religions and wisdom traditions with us.  Once you figure out your spiritual home you can leave or hang around and keep learning.  Coffee is almost ready. Pull up a chair… This week our groups are comparing the teachings of the Buddha, Jesus and Oprah. Learn more at seeker site url .

By the way, the ARDA has some nice lists summarizing the number of “adherents” by metro area and by state from 2000. “Adherents” are considered all full members, their children, and others who regularly attend services.

Percentages of Unitarian Universalists in  Metro Areas (2000)
Percentages of Unitarian Universalist by State (2000)

From the 2000 data, here are the top states. After this the percentage drops to ~0% by population.

Ranking State Adherents Percent
1 Massachusetts 25,834 0.4
2 Vermont 2,139 0.4
3 New Hampshire 3,968 0.3
4 Maine 3,234 0.3
5 Delaware 1,602 0.2
6 Connecticut 4,022 0.1
6 Rhode Island 1,299 0.1
7 Maryland 6,068 0.1
8 Minnesota 4,956 0.1
8 Oregon 3,365 0.1
8 Washington 5,828 0.1
9 New Mexico 1,684 0.1
9 Virginia 6,170 0.1
9 Wisconsin 5,093 0.1
10 Colorado 3,559 0.1
11 Alaska 457 0.1
11 New York 12,489 0.1
11 Oklahoma 2,301 0.1
11 Wyoming 330 0.1
12 Illinois 7,244 0.1
12 Iowa 1,816 0.1
12 New Jersey 5,109 0.1
12 North Carolina 5,181 0.1
12 Pennsylvania 6,778 0.1
13 Idaho 653 0.1
13 Indiana 2,936 0.1
13 Michigan 4,667 0.1
13 Nebraska 857 0.1
13 Ohio 6,116 0.1
13 Tennessee 2,569 0.1

Here are the metro areas with 0.3% and above.

Ranking Metro Area Adherents Percent
1 Barnstable-Yarmouth
MA NECMA
1,784 0.8
2 Portland, ME NECMA 1,145 0.4
3 Corvallis, OR MSA 328 0.4
4 Boston-Worcester-
Lawrence-Lowell-
Brockton, MA-NH NECMA
24,819 0.4
4 Madison, WI MSA 1,730 0.4
5 Santa Fe, NM MSA 590 0.4
6 Burlington, VT NECMA 689 0.4
7 Asheville, NC MSA 733 0.3
8 Rochester, MN MSA 380 0.3
9 Bloomington, IN MSA 353 0.3
10 Iowa City, IA MSA 298 0.3
11 Charlottesville, VA MSA 396 0.3

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