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How Hindus Grew into Second-Largest Faith in Arizona & Delaware

Every ten years, the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies conducts a nationwide religion census, cataloging the number, location, and growth of adherents to organized religions across the country. Their latest data reveals the changing nature of American faith, and some surprising hubs for followers of non-Christian traditions.

While the overwhelming majority of Americans -- 77% of the population -- continue to identify themselves as Christian, a map detailing the second-largest religion in each state shows that Hindus are the largest non-Christian group in both Arizona and Delaware.

A map from the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies showing the largest non-Christian groups in each U.S. state.
A map from the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies showing the largest non-Christian groups in each U.S. state. The Association conducts a national religion census every 10 years. Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies / Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies

The growth in Hinduism in Delaware can be attributed largely to the growth of immigrants from India, many of whom are Hindu, who now comprise one of the state's fastest-growing communities and many of whom are drawn by jobs in the technology and medical fields. According to Census data, the number of Indian residents grew 116% between 2000 and 2010, making them the largest Asian group in the state.

A similar story is unfolding in Arizona, where the Asian population (176,695)-- though dwarfed by Whites (4,667,121) and Hispanics (1,895,149) -- remains one of the fastest-growing groups, up from 92,000 according to 2010 data.