A decennial census of U.S. religions in America was released Tuesday by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB). The results show a dramatic increase in the number of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, and Muslims, a modest increase in the number of evangelical Protestants, and a drop in the number of Catholics and mainline Protestants.
Muslims saw the greatest growth rate among the five main religious groups studied. Their numbers increased by 66.7 percent in the 2010 census from a decade earlier. Latter-day Saints saw the next highest growth at 45.5 percent, followed by evangelical Protestants at only 1.7 percent. The number of Catholics decreased by five percent and the number of mainline Protestants decreased by 12.8 percent.
Notably, when combined, nondenominational and independent churches are now the largest faith group, with over 12 million adherents, according to the report.
Evangelical Protestants and Latter-day Saints saw their greatest growth in the nine most populated metropolitan areas. These areas each have over 5 million people. Evangelical Christians increased their numbers by 12.3 percent and Latter-day Saints increased their numbers by 66.9 percent in these areas. Muslims, by contrast, grew at a faster rate outside of the major metropolitan areas.