The Bible Belt is a region located primarily in the southern United States. This informal term is used to describe an area with conservative Protestant values. This region also has attendance numbers at Christian churches that exceed the national average.
The term "Bible Belt" was first coined in 1924. Journalist H.L. Mencken used the word in an article appearing in the Chicago Daily Tribune. Later, Mencken claimed to be the inventor of the term.
The number of religious citizens living in the Bible Belt region is dramatically higher when compared to other areas of the U.S. The Northeast is home to the least religious U.S. states. The most non-religious citizens reside in Vermont. 37% of people that live in Vermont state they are non-religious. Compare this to Alabama, the Bible Belt state with the highest percentage of residents identifying as non-religious at just 12%.
While there are a few definitions of what states make up the Bible Belt, it's accepted that the following states are included:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
In general, these states are the country's most religious. Two cities even are known as the Buckle of the Bible Belt. These cities are Abilene, Texas, the location of three Christian universities, and Nashville, Tennessee, which has multiple Christian schools and over 700 churches.