The results from the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies’ (ASARB) 2020 U.S. Religion Census report show a growing trend for people of faith in New Mexico.
According to the data in the report, there were 1,111,977 “adherents” (churchgoers) in the state. That is a 7.26 percent increase from 2010’s report, which showed 1,031,198 adherents.
Despite congregations dwindling from 2,447 in 2010 to 2,405 in 2020, church membership grew.
The ASARB defined adherents as people who “generally are members, children who are not members, and others who are not members but are considered participants in the congregation.”
Catholics were by far the greatest number of church congregants in 2020, with 633,259 adherents (29.9 percent), which is a slight bump of 1.5 percent from 2010’s number of 584,941 adherents (28.4 percent).
The next largest religious denomination in New Mexico is evangelical protestants, with 277,326 adherents, a slight 1.21 percent decline from 273,956 in 2010. Evangelical protestants make up 12.9 percent of all churchgoers, with non-denominational Christian Churches making up the largest amount of that figure or around 37.6 percent.
The Catholic Church had the highest concentration of adherents in 32 out of New Mexico’s 33 counties, with the only exception being Hidalgo County, which had a higher percentage of adherents belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
Islam had a massive 192.6 percent increase in New Mexico, with 12,046 members of the church in 2020, while there were only 4,116 adherents in 2010.
Judaism had a significant 14.4 percent decline in New Mexico adherents, with 3,698 in 2020 versus 4,232 back in 2010.
According to an analysis of the data by Ryan Roys of Eastern Illinois University, “South Florida and many of the least-populous counties in Texas close to the border with Mexico saw notable growth, as did parts of New Mexico and Arizona. Additionally, counties in Idaho became more religious in 2020 over 2010.”
Nationwide, the Catholic Church remained the leader in religious denominations, with 61,858,137 adherents, and non-denominational Christian Churches came in second place with 21,095,641 adherents.
See the full results of the 2020 U.S. Religion Census here.
Pew Research Center’s 2015 Religious Landscape Study revealed that New Mexico is the 15th most religious state, with 63 percent of respondents saying they believe in God with absolute certainty and 57 percent of the population being “highly religious.” A similar statistic from the World Population Review revealed that New Mexico is the 18th most religious state, with 57 percent of adults being religious.