Religious Affiliation in Texas

Texas remains one of the nation’s more “religious” states, even though a smaller proportion of Texans is affiliated with a congregation than ten years ago. Updated 2 years ago
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Religious Affiliation in Texas

Religious Affiliation in Texas

Map showing dominant faith in Texas counties & counties in which a religious denomination makes up more than a quarter of the population. Click to enlarge.

Texas Largest Religious Bodies


Religious BodyAdherentsPercent of Population
Year 20102000
 1. Catholic Church4,673,50018.59 20.95
 2. Southern Baptist Convention3,722,19414.80 16.88
 3. Non-Denominational Christian1,546,5426.15 
 4. United Methodist Church1,122,7364.46 4.90
 5. Muslim estimate421,9721.68 0.55
 6. Church of Christ351,1291.40 1.81
 7. LDS (Mormons)296,1411.18 0.75
 8. Assembly of God275,5651.10 1.09
 9. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)155,0460.62 0.86
 10. Episcopal Church148,4390.59 0.85
 11. Lutheran–Missouri Synod132,5080.53 0.67
 12. Lutheran–E.L.C.A.111,6470.44 0.74
 Unclaimed by any faith10,103,45540.18 


"Adherents" includes full members, their children, and others who regularly attend services. Click here for a full listing of religious denominations in Texas.


Changes Over the Past Decades

Texas remains one of the nation’s more “religious” states, even though a smaller proportion of Texans is affiliated with a congregation than ten years ago.

At the same time, the estimated number of Muslims in the state increased to 421,972, making it the fifth largest religious group in the state and making Texas first in the nation in number of Muslims.

Texas ranks in the upper half among the states in percentage of the population belonging to a denomination. According to the 2010 U.S. Religion Census, at least 56.0 percent of Texans are adherents to a religion. The national average is 48.8 percent.

The census, sponsored by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, is the only U.S. survey to report religious membership down to the county level, as well at the state level. The census, taken every 10 years,  relies on self-reports from congregations for membership numbers.

But in the past, the African-American churches did not participate in the study, and in 2010 less than half of those congregations participated.

Only 345,998 black Protestants were counted in Texas in 2010. According to the U.S. Census of 2010, there were 2,782,876 blacks in Texas, which would mean 87.6 percent of black Texans, who are predominately Protestant, were designated as unaffliliated to any church.  This probably leaves out some one million Texas church members.

In 1990, it was estimated that there were 815,000 black Baptists in Texas. An estimate of the membership in black Pentecostal churches was about 300,000. And, an estimate for black Methodists in Texas was approximately 200,000.

Carrying over those estimates into 2010 and adjusting for these additions, then the percentage of Texans that are adherents of a religion would be closer to 59.8 percent in 2010. [In addition, the religion census includes denominations that provide numbers of congregations, but who have not provided the numbers of adherents in each congregation. Even with factoring in an average congregation size of 100 persons for Protestant congregations, (a figure used by the census study) the total percentage would vary less than a one percent, to 60.7 percent.]

Although these percentage figures are  higher than the 56.0 percent figure compiled from the reporting churches, still, the percentage would be down from 67.1 percent twenty years ago and 61.7 in 2000, indicating a move away from religious affiliation in Texas.

The Religion Census says "Jewish congregations record their size in terms of 'member units' or entire households who pay membership dues." To get the estimate of 60,645 Jewish religious adherents, the census multiplied the mean number of household members derived from the 2001 National Jewish Population Survey The same national survey estimated nearly 140,000 Jews, secular and religious,  in Texas in 2011. 

As seen in the chart above, many of the larger churches have a diminished portion of the population from what they had in 2000. The category of "non-denominational" Christian was added in 2010, so no comparison is available.

However, with the total state population booming, the churches still reported an increase of 2.17 million members, while the total population of Texas increased by 4.29 million from 2000 to 2010. During the same period, the number of Texans not attached to a religion rose by 2.13 million.

Thus, according to the Texas Almanac analysis from a variety of sources, there are 10.1 million persons in the state who are not claimed by a religious group and about 15 million who are congregation members. (The U.S. census counted 25,145,561 persons in Texas in 2010.) — RP.

2010 U.S. Religious Census: Religious Congregations and Membership Study.


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