The most and least religious cities generally reflect the religiousness of the state in which they are located, although there are some interesting exceptions. Utah, for example, is one of the nation’s most religious states, and two Utah cities — Provo and Ogden — are indeed among the most religious cities in the nation. But Utah’s largest metro area, Salt Lake City, is significantly lower on the religiousness list (47% very religious) than the other two Utah cities. This most likely reflects Salt Lake City residents’ more urban, less Mormon nature compared with other Utah metro areas. And, although Michigan as a state has below-average religiousness, that state’s Holland-Grand Haven metro area is tied as the nation’s fifth most religious.
Specific data on religious service attendance — one of the two components of the religiousness index — highlight stark behavioral differences between the two cities at the extreme ends of the religiousness distribution. Seventy-seven percent of Provo residents say they attend church weekly or nearly weekly, while 18% say they seldom or never attend. Residents of the Burlington area represent nearly a mirror image, with 18% saying they attend church weekly or nearly every week, and 76% saying they seldom or never attend.