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What Are the Most Catholic Cities in US?

  • VOA News

FILE - Sign painters work on a portrait of Pope Francis, right, on the side of a New York City building. The pope visits the U.S. beginning Sept. 22, with stops in Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia.

FILE - Sign painters work on a portrait of Pope Francis, right, on the side of a New York City building. The pope visits the U.S. beginning Sept. 22, with stops in Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia.

New York City, one of the three U.S. cities Pope Francis will visit this week, is in a three-way tie as the most Catholic city in the United States, a religious institute's analysis found.

In Boston, New York and Pittsburgh, 36 percent of residents said they were Catholic, according to the Public Religion Research Institute's (PRRI) 2014 study, which ranked the largest religious groups in 30 major U.S. metropolitan areas -- those with populations of at least 50,000.

Philadelphia, where the pope plans to hold an outdoor Mass at which up to 2 million people are expected on September 27, and Chicago tie as the second-most Catholic city in the U.S., with 33 percent.

Washington, D.C., where Francis will canonize Junipero Serra on September 23 and address a joint session of the U.S. Congress on September 24, is in a three-way tie for 11th place, with 19 percent of residents who say they are Catholic.

In its study released in August, PRRI found Catholics, the religiously unaffiliated and Protestants are the top three religious groups, respectively, in the major metro areas.

It also found Rhode Island is the most Catholic state, with 44 percent of its population identifying with the church.

Here are cities with the largest Catholic populations:

1. Boston 36%
1. New York City 36%
1. Pittsburgh 36%

2. Chicago 33%
2. Philadelphia 33%

3. Los Angeles 31%
3. Miami 31%

4. Las Vegas 27%
4. Minneapolis / St. Paul 27%

5. Milwaukee 26%
5. Phoenix 26%
5. San Francisco 26%

6. St. Louis 25%

7. Cleveland 23%
7. Detroit 23%
7. Houston 23%

8. Columbus 22%

9. Cincinnati 21%

10. Denver 20%

11. Dallas 19%
11. Tampa / St. Petersburg 19%
11. Washington, D.C. 19%

Source: Public Religion Research Institute, American Values Atlas, 2014

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