The Startling Religious Trends Happening in Twin Falls
Twin Falls County is experiencing a fascinating trend right now. This time it's not about job growth, gas prices, or unemployment rates... it's religion.
As of 2010, some 50.1% of Twin Falls residents affiliate with a religion, according to city-data.com.*
With the other 49.9% with no religious affiliation, it's a near-dead split. And, by the way, if my math is on target here, looking at that 0.1% discrepancy, the difference in tipping the scale from one majority to another... is about 80 people. With margin of error, it's probably not a stretch to say that it's very close!
Pack every resident of Twin Falls County into a stadium, throw a rock at the crowd, and chances are 50/50 it'll hit a religious (or nonreligious) person in the head.
Now here's the really interesting part.
In the U.S. at large, "the nones" (those with no religious affiliation) continues to be one of the fastest growing segments, if not the fastest, as researched by the Pew Research Center's wonderfully thorough survey.
But in Twin Falls County? Not so. The growth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints trumps the nones by a full 20%.
In Twin Falls County, The CJCLDS grew at an astonishing 53%, while the nones grew by 33% -- which is still noteworthy growth, as Evangelical protestant growth numbers don't even come close, at 7%.
It should be said, the Twin Falls numbers were from 2000-2010, and the Pew Research Center study was 2007-2014, so the local and national numbers don't overlap evenly. Nonetheless, the major growth trends seem noteworthy.
Put otherwise, the two largest groups growing in Twin Falls? LDS, and the nones, by a long shot.
This is remarkable, since our population during the same time only grew by 20%! This suggests to me that the religious growth trends aren't just growing because of family growth, but Twin Falls residents are changing their minds about religion in one way or another... at a rate that's markedly higher than the national average.
Clearly questions of God, religion, and church are on people's minds.
Over to you: what do you make of these trends? Any thoughts on why, how, or even your own personal experience?
*Their source leads to another source, which leads to the root source, the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, who collected the data.