Mormonism and Islam are among the fastest growing religions in America, while just over half of all Americans are unaffiliated with any denomination, according to a major census of the country’s religious congregations published Wednesday.
The decennial census, released by theAssociation of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies in Chicago, found that the U.S. Muslim community had increased 160 percent from approximately 1 million in 2000 to 2.6 million in 2010.
There are 6.1 million U.S. members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormons, up 45 percent for the same period; and there are 1 million Buddhists, located mostly in the western part of the country. Mormonism, founded in upstate New York, is spread throughout the nation, although 1 in 3 members of the LDS Church live in Utah, the study revealed.
Roman Catholic and the “mainline” Christian churches – Methodists, Episcopalians, Evangelical Lutherans, Presbyterians and others – had substantial drops in membership, said Dale Jones, a researcher who worked on project for the statisticians association.