Religious Makeup of Southeastern Idaho

Part 2 post authored by Charles Barnes.

Anyone who has lived in Idaho Falls for very long gets a sense of the religious makeup of the area – the majority of the residents of our city are members, whether active or not, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the rest of the population is split between Catholics, evangelical Christians of various denominations, mainline Protestants, and people not affiliated with any religion. Idaho Falls has a few Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Baha’i, Zoroastrians, and people of several other religious persuasions, but very few. How does the religious makeup of Bonneville County compare with other counties in Eastern Idaho and with the rest of the country? (more…)

Belief and Unbelief in America and Idaho Falls

This post is authored by Charles Barnes.

The front page story of the November 21, 2013 Post Register, Losing Faith, reported the growing number of atheists in America based on a 2012 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life report. The article told the story of one young man who had grown up a Mormon, gone on a two-year mission and attended BYU-Idaho, but then left his church. The rest of the article consisted of a few scattered statements about religion and atheism in eastern Idaho.

The complete 80-page report cited in the Post Register article is available for downloading or reading online at The religious trends in this report are based on annual surveys from 2007 to 2012 of an average of about 20,000 respondents per year (ranging from a low of 9,443 in 2007 to a high of 24,764 in 2010). This equates to less than one-hundredth of one percent of the American population. The survey results indicated: (more…)