The most “Bible-minded” cities are found in the southern United States, according to the Barna Research Group.
The annual survey, conducted in conjunction with the American Bible Society, found “all of the top 10 cities located below the Mason-Dixon Line.”
“Individuals who report reading the Bible in a typical week and who strongly assert the Bible is accurate in the principles it teaches are considered to be Bible-minded,” Barna explained.
Chattanooga took the top spot with 52 percent of the city’s respondents qualifying as the most Bible-minded. The Tennessee city has ranked first for four out of the past five years, coming in second in 2015.
Last year’s number one, Birmingham/Anniston/Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was second this year with 51 percent of Bible-minded residents.
The remaining Southern cities making the top 10 were: Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia; Shreveport, Louisiana; Tri-Cities, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; Little Rock/Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Knoxville, Tennessee; Greenville, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina (tie); and Lexington, Kentucky.
Springfield, Missouri (no. 11), and Jackson, Mississippi (no. 15), were both in the 2015 top 10.
The highest ranked cities in southern states not making the top 10 were: Huntsville/Decatur/Florence, Alabama (no. 12); Savannah, Georgia (no. 13); Charleston/Huntington, West Virginia (no. 22); Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (no. 28); and Jacksonville, Florida (no. 29).
Cities in the northeast U.S. were the least Bible-minded in the 2016 survey.
Albany, Schenectady/Troy, New York, was the least Bible-minded city at 10 percent, followed closely by Boston (11 percent), and Providence, Rhode Island (12 percent).
The remaining cities in the bottom 10 were: Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Buffalo, New York; Las Vegas; San Francisco; Hartford/New Haven, Connecticut; Phoenix/Prescott, Arizona; and Salt Lake City.