Changing religious affiliation of the US Congress

The NYT’s Charles M. Blow has produced a long, slender chart of the changing religious affiliation of the United States Congress from the early 1960s through the Congress sworn in last week.

Religious afflition of the US Congress from early 1960s through 2011

Source: Charles M. Blow, The New York Times, analysis of data from the The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The big winners are “Catholic”, followed by “Unspecified/other Protestant” (a group that includes many evangelical Christians) and “Jewish”. “Baptist”, “Lutheran”, and “Mormon” are also up a bit. The big losers are “Methodist”, “Presbyterian”, “Anglican/Episcopal”, and “Congregationalist“.

This graph would look terrible if drawn to normal scale, but the elongated vertical axis helps to convey a lot of information in an attractive way. The underlying data from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life are available, in table format, here.

Leave a Reply