A clear majority of adults in the Seattle area — around 64% — never attend church or religious services, or go less than once a year. That pencils out to about 1.98 million people out of the total 3.1 million population aged 18 and older in our metro area, which includes King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

The survey includes data from all 50 states plus the nation’s 15 largest metro areas, including Seattle. And among those 15, Seattle ranked the least religious, edging out San Francisco, where 63% never attend religious services, or go less than once a year. Boston was a distant third at 56%.

What may be surprising to folks in the Seattle area, though, is that the rest of Washington is nearly as nonreligious as Seattle. Statewide, 63% never or almost never attend religious services, just 1 percentage point lower than the number for the Seattle area.

  • @pelespirit@sh.itjust.works
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    103 months ago

    We have the 2nd most churches though too. It’s a weird dichotomy. This is from 2015:

    For example, Seattle has the second-highest number of religious institutions per capita, but a full one-third of its residents are unaffiliated. Seattle is behind only Portland in a ranking of cities based on residents with no religious affiliation from the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute, according to PropertyShark.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/cities-with-most-churches-2015-6?op=1

    • Comrade GitGud
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      73 months ago

      I read that as churches working their hardest to get new converts, assuming that if they’re unaffiliated that they’re essentially religious free agents, which isn’t how it works but bless their little hearts for trying.

      • @pelespirit@sh.itjust.works
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        33 months ago

        They’re the physical churches, but I’ve forgotten the story. There was some law and prohibition or something? They are/were every block in Ballard.

    • Ms. ArmoredThirteen
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      43 months ago

      I never connected the observations but yeah I don’t know anyone in the area who goes to church even there are a surprising number of them around. It’s also pretty rare for me to see people entering or exiting a church at all whereas places I used to live would often have people around them. I wonder what the age demographic of the church goers is locally?

      • @pelespirit@sh.itjust.works
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        43 months ago

        The people that I know who go to church, usually do it on the down low. I knew someone for 5 years and didn’t know they were church goers. They knew we weren’t so didn’t really talk about it. Except for Jehovah’s Witness, they’re pretty relentless.