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Top 10 Different Religions In The US

The United States is home to a diverse array of religions. Christianity is the most widespread, with 65% of Americans practicing it. Islam, dating back to the 18th century in the US, is followed by about 3.5 million people. Judaism, present since colonial times, has around 6 million adherents. Buddhism and Hinduism, introduced in the 19th and 20th centuries, have millions of followers.

The country also has newer religious movements and a growing number of people who don’t identify with any religion, now at about 26%. This diversity reflects America’s commitment to religious freedom, a core value since its founding.

List of Top 10 Different Religions In the US

  1. Protestantism (34%)
  2. Catholicism (23%)
  3. Non-specific Christian (11%)
  4. Mormonism (2%)
  5. Judaism (2%)
  6. Buddhism (1.2%)
  7. Islam (1.1%)
  8. Hinduism (1%)
  9. Sikhism (0.5%)
  10. Unitarian Universalism (0.3%)

1. Protestantism (34%)

Protestantism has been a dominant religious force, constituting approximately 34% of the population. Its roots trace back to the 16th-century Reformation, with significant branches such as Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, and Pentecostals.

Historically, Protestantism played a pivotal role in shaping American culture and society. The Great Awakening in the 18th century sparked religious fervor, leading to the formation of numerous denominations and the proliferation of evangelicalism. In the 19th century, Protestantism influenced social movements like abolitionism and temperance.

By the early 20th century, Protestantism faced challenges from immigration, secularization, and the rise of non-Christian religions. However, it remained a major religious force, with influential figures like Billy Graham leading mass evangelistic campaigns.

Today, Protestantism in the US continues to evolve, witnessing trends such as the growth of non-denominational churches and the increasing diversity within denominational traditions. This dynamic landscape reflects the ongoing interplay between religion and American society.

2. Catholicism (23%)

In the United States, Catholicism stands as the largest Christian denomination, encompassing about 23% of the population. Its roots in the U.S. trace back to the early 16th century, gaining significant traction during the waves of European immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries. The first Catholic parish in the U.S., St. Augustine Church in Florida, was established in 1565.

By the mid-19th century, Catholicism’s presence grew substantially, with the establishment of numerous dioceses and the construction of grand cathedrals like St. Patrick’s in New York City. Notable figures like John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, symbolized the religion’s integration into mainstream American society.

Today, Catholicism maintains a diverse presence across the country, with strongholds in the Northeast and Midwest. It plays a vital role in education, healthcare, and charitable services, with Catholic schools educating millions of students annually. The Church’s teachings and traditions continue to influence American culture and politics, shaping discussions on issues such as abortion, healthcare, and immigration.

3. Non-specific Christian (11%)

Non-specific Christian denominations constitute approximately 11% of the religious landscape. This category encompasses individuals who identify as Christian but do not specify a particular denomination or affiliation. The trend of Non-specific Christianity has been on the rise since the late 20th century, reflecting a shift away from traditional denominational labels.

One significant factor contributing to this trend is the increasing emphasis on personal spirituality over institutionalized religion. This shift is evident in surveys conducted by organizations such as the Pew Research Center, which have tracked the growth of Non-specific Christianity since the 1990s.

Furthermore, the diversity within Non-specific Christian beliefs is notable, ranging from individuals who engage in independent study and worship to those who attend non-denominational churches. This diversity reflects the broader trend of religious pluralism in the United States, where individuals have the freedom to explore and practice their faith in various ways, contributing to the rich tapestry of religious expression in the country.

4. Mormonism (2%) 

Mormonism, comprising around 2% of the US population, emerged in the early 19th century under Joseph Smith. In 1830, he initiated the establishment (LDS), which is currently situated in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mormons hold a belief in additional sacred texts like the Book of Mormon, in conjunction with the Bible.

The religion has experienced significant growth, with over 16 million members globally. In the US, Mormonism’s influence is notable, especially in Utah, where around 60% of the population identifies as LDS. The church plays a role in various aspects of life, including politics, culture, and social services.

Notable dates in Mormon history include the 1890 Manifesto, which officially ended the practice of polygamy, leading to Utah gaining statehood in 1896. The church’s missionary efforts have spread Mormonism worldwide, contributing to its diverse membership. Today, Mormon beliefs and practices continue to evolve, reflecting the changing landscape of religion in the United States.

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5. Judaism (2%)

Judaism, another religion spread about 2% of the US population, has a rich history dating back centuries. The Jewish community in America has grown significantly since the early 19th century, with the first major wave of Jewish immigrants arriving in the mid-1800s, primarily from Germany. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Eastern European Jews fleeing persecution contributed to this growth.

One significant event in Jewish American history was the establishment of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in 1881, which aided Jewish immigrants and refugees. The post-World War II era saw a notable rise in Jewish cultural influence in the US, with prominent figures like Albert Einstein making lasting contributions.

Today, Jewish Americans have a diverse range of religious practices, from Orthodox to Reform Judaism. They have also made significant contributions to various fields, including science, literature, and entertainment. Institutions like synagogues, Jewish schools, and community centers continue to play vital roles in preserving Jewish heritage and fostering a sense of identity among Jewish Americans.

6. Buddhism (1.2%)

Buddhism in the United States has seen a steady growth, with approximately 1.2% of the population identifying as Buddhists according to the Pew Research Center’s Religious Landscape Study in 2014. This reflects an increase from previous years, highlighting the growing influence of Buddhism in American society.

The history of Buddhism in the US dates back to the mid-19th century, marked by the arrival of Asian immigrants, particularly from countries like China, Japan, and Korea. The establishment of Buddhist temples and centers in major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City further facilitated the spread of Buddhism.

Notably, the 1960s and 1970s witnessed a significant surge in interest in Buddhism among Americans, driven by factors such as the counterculture movement and the introduction of Zen and Tibetan Buddhism by influential figures like Alan Watts and the Dalai Lama. This era marked a turning point, leading to a broader acceptance and integration of Buddhist teachings and practices into mainstream American culture.

7. Islam (1.1%)

In the United States, Islam comprises around 1.1% of the population, making it a significant religious minority. This figure translates to roughly 3.45 million adherents, as per data from a 2020 Pew Research Center report.

Islam’s presence in the U.S. dates back centuries, with the earliest records of Muslim arrivals tracing back to the 17th century. However, significant growth occurred in the mid-20th century due to immigration, particularly from countries like Egypt, Pakistan, and Lebanon.

The establishment of mosques and Islamic centers has been pivotal in fostering community and religious practice. One notable milestone was the founding of the Islamic Center of America in Michigan in 1952, the largest mosque in the U.S. at that time.

Moreover, notable figures like Malcolm X, who played a prominent role in the civil rights movement, highlighted Islam’s increasing visibility and influence within American society.

Today, Islam continues to thrive, contributing to the rich tapestry of religious diversity that characterizes the United States.

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8. Hinduism (1%)

Hinduism, practiced by approximately 1% of the US population, has had a growing presence since its introduction in the late 19th century. The first Hindu temple in the US, the Vedanta Society, was established in 1906 in San Francisco. By 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Act facilitated a significant influx of Indian immigrants, contributing to the expansion of Hindu communities across the country.

In 1977, the Hindu Temple Society of North America inaugurated the famed Shri Maha Vallabha Ganapathi Devasthanam in Queens, New York, becoming one of the largest Hindu temples outside India. Since then, numerous temples, like the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta (opened in 2007), symbolize the vibrant growth and diversity within Hinduism in the US.

Notably, Hindu festivals such as Diwali have gained mainstream recognition, celebrated by millions across the nation. The Hindu American Foundation, founded in 2003, advocates for Hindu human rights and cultural understanding, further establishing Hinduism’s enduring influence in American society.

9. Sikhism (0.5%)

Sikhism, comprising 0.5% of the US population, has experienced notable growth since its introduction. In the early 20th century, Sikh immigrants primarily settled in the western United States, with significant communities forming in California. The first Sikh gurdwara in the US was established in Stockton, California, in 1912.

One key milestone for Sikhism in the US was the legal battle Sikhs faced in the 1920s to secure citizenship rights, ultimately leading to the passing of the Luce-Celler Act in 1946, which granted Indians, including Sikhs, the right to become naturalized citizens.

The 1980s witnessed a surge in Sikh immigration due to political unrest in Punjab, India. This influx bolstered Sikh presence across the US, leading to the establishment of numerous gurdwaras and community organizations.

Today, Sikhs actively contribute to various sectors, including business, medicine, and technology, enriching the cultural diversity of the nation while preserving their distinct religious identity.

10. Unitarian Universalism (0.3%)

Unitarian Universalism, representing 0.3% of the U.S. population, is a liberal religious movement known for its inclusivity and emphasis on individual spiritual exploration. It traces its roots back to the merger of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America in 1961, although both traditions have deeper historical origins dating to the early 19th century.

Unitarian Universalists prioritize social justice, environmental activism, and tolerance of diverse beliefs. As of 2020, there were approximately 1,037 Unitarian Universalist congregations across the United States, with notable growth in recent decades due to its welcoming stance toward LGBTQ+ individuals and progressive values.

Notable figures within Unitarian Universalism include theologian James Luther Adams, civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, and poet and activist Maya Angelou, highlighting the movement’s broad influence in various spheres of American society. With a commitment to lifelong learning and an open-minded approach to spirituality, Unitarian Universalism continues to attract followers seeking a non-dogmatic and inclusive religious community.


In the US, religious diversity is a key part of society, reflecting freedom of worship. As of 2020, about 65% of Americans are Christians, while around 26% are religiously unaffiliated. Other faiths like Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism also have followers. This diversity has deep roots, from early Christian settlements to immigration waves. It’s not just about personal beliefs but also impacts culture, laws, and how we see pluralism.


How Many Different Religions Exist in the United States?

The United States is home to a wide range of religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Baha’i, Wicca, Native American religions, and many others. There is no exact count of the total number of religions, as new religious movements and variations within existing traditions continue to emerge.

What Are the Top 10 Religious States?

The top 10 religious states in the United States can vary depending on the criteria used, such as the percentage of the population affiliated with a particular religion or religious attendance rates. Generally, states like Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee have higher percentages of religious adherence compared to others.

What Are the 12 Types of Religion?

There are numerous types of religion practiced in the United States and around the world. Some of the major types include:

  • Christianity
  • Judaism
  • Islam
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Sikhism
  • Jainism
  • Baha’i Faith
  • Wicca and other Neopagan religions
  • Native American religions
  • Atheism and agnosticism
  • Various new religious movements and spiritual practices

Which Country Has the Most Christians?

The country with the most Christians is the United States. As of recent data, approximately 65-75% of the American population identifies as Christian, with various denominations such as Protestantism, Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy being prevalent.

What’s the Main Religion in Japan?

The main religion in Japan is Shintoism, which is a traditional Japanese belief system focusing on rituals and practices related to kami (spirits or gods) that are believed to inhabit natural elements and phenomena. Alongside Shintoism, Buddhism also has a significant presence in Japan, with many Japanese people practicing a combination of both religions known as Shinbutsu-shūgō.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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