American Values: New England
New England is the least religious region in the US and contains majority of post-Christian cities in the country. New England residents are concerned about climate change and its effects. The region also shows strong support for same-sex marriage and legal abortion. These and other findings are outlined below.
Religiosity - Least Religious
- Gallup's 2018 report 'Religiosity in U.S. Regions' determined New England as the least religious region in the US.
- Only 26% of surveyed respondents in New England identified as 'Very religious', compared to Southwest's 45%.
- Another 26% of respondents identified themselves as 'Moderately religious'.
- New England had the highest rate of respondents who said they were 'Not religious' (48%, compared to Southwest's 23%).
- Gallup also reported that 5 of New England's constituent states were among the least religious: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.
- Of these, Vermont had the highest rate of respondents identifying as 'Not religious' at 59% followed by Maine (55%) and New Hampshire (51%).
- Gallup noted that 3 of New England states namely New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont are the only US states whose majority of residents are not religious.
- Barna's 2017 data shows that New England along with the Northeast region contain the most post-Christian cities.
- The number one post-Christian city is Portland-Auburn, Maine (57%).
- Following close behind are Boston, MA-Manchester in New Hampshire (56%) and Providence in Massachusetts (53%).
- PRRI also reported that several New England states showed significant rates of residents with no religious affiliation.
- According to the report, 41% of Vermont respondents, 33% of New Hampshire respondents and 36% of Oregon said they were not affiliated with any religion.
- National Review identifies New England as a largely Republican region until the 1960s, when several states began to shift to Democratic.
- Newer generations of New England voters tried Democratic and did not look back.
- This was true for presidential and congressional politics.
- In 2019, Business Insider noted that New England are among the early states in the Democratic Contenders Convention.
- Among the popular candidates in New England are Senator Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
- However, National Review observed that most New England states voted a Republican governor in recent years.
- In 2017, the New York Times reported that residents in New England states were more likely to discuss climate change than other regions.
- New England states were also more likely to support carbon limits on coal plants than other states.
- WBUR News reported that the percentage of Massachusetts voters expressing belief in climate change has grown in recent years.
- WBUR reported that 78% of Massachusetts voters said they believed the planet was getting warmer in 2015.
- In 2017, the percentage grew to 88%, with the public showing increased agreement on the issue.
- 75% of surveyed Massachusetts voters said they are concerned about coastal flooding, intense heat waves, and sea level rise in the next decade.
- 82% said they fear Massachusetts will be hit by more intense storms in the next decade.
- The article reported that younger voters were more concerned about climate change while older voters were concerned about terrorism.
- Pew Research's latest poll (2012) on regional differences around gay marriage showed that New England mostly favors same-sex marriage.
- 62% of New England respondents were in favor of same-sex marriage.
- 29% of New England respondents were in opposition.
- New England's support of same-sex marriage is in sharp contrast with central Southern states, where 56% said they opposed gay marriage.
- Pew's report on regional differences over abortion laws in 2013 showed that New England is also in favor of legalized abortion.
- 3 out of 4 or 75% of New England survey participants said abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
- 20% of New England respondents said abortion should be illegal.
- The region had the highest rate of support for legalized abortion in all US regions.
- New England registered a 35-point difference with South Central states, which had the lowest rate of support (40%) for legal abortion.