Discover the States That Make Up the Bible Belt

Written by Justin Zipprich
Updated: July 5, 2023
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The “Bible Belt” is a term for a string of states across southern America where it is said that Christianity is deeply embedded in everyday life. Nine states make up this famous belt. They include Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Oklahoma. Today, we will talk about the history of the Bible Belt. We will also discuss a bit about the nine states that make up this famous area of our country.

The History of the Bible Belt

This area of America has been known as the Bible Belt since way back in 1924 when journalist H. L. Mencken wrote in the Chicago Tribune that “The old game, I suspect, is beginning to play out in the Bible Belt.” It basically began as a derogatory term as he was speaking out against the religious beliefs associated with Christianity. 

Although the name was meant to be a mockery of sorts at the time, the name stuck. The area is referred to as a “belt” because that is a term for an area characterized by a distinctive feature, in this case, the fact that many religious people call these states home.

Although it wasn’t always called the Bible Belt, this area has been more Bible-minded since way back in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when this area was a center for Anglicans. Soon after, other denominations began to gain popularity, including Methodists and Southern Baptists. 

Today, the area continues to be a religious and conservative part of the country, and it is an area where a majority of voters vote Republican.

Use of the Phrase “The Bible Belt”

This area of the Southeastern and South-Central United States continues to be called the Bible Belt to this day. It continues to be a place where people are more theologically evangelical and socially conservative than in other parts of the United States. In many cases, it is not the citizens of these states that use the term “Bible Belt” but instead, it is used by some people to mock the people in the states and their beliefs. 

The term is also associated with the states that house “Bible-minded cities,” which is a city where the citizens put time and faith into the Bible on a more consistent basis than other parts of the country. 

This is one of many “belts” across the country. A few other examples include:

  • The Banana Belt (Parts of the U.S. with mild climates)
  • Corn Belt (States where corn is the primary crop)
  • Lead Belt (A district in Missouri that has a history of mining for lead)
  • Wheat Belt (Midwestern states where grain and soybeans are the primary crops)
  • Salt Belt (Midwest and Northeast states where salt is used on roads to melt ice)
  • Cotton Belt (Southern states where cotton is the primary crop)
  • Rice Belt (Southern states where rice is the major crop)

The States That Make Up The Bible Belt

South East United States

A few of the states that make up the “Bible Belt’ include Arkansas, Georgia, and Alabama.

©Kent Weakley/

Although the list of states that make up the Bible Belt can tend to differ based on the source, the nine states that most people agree make up the belt include the states below. Let’s discover a bit about each one and the connection that the residents have to religion, according to Pew Research.


In the state of Mississippi, 74% of residents consider religion to be “very important.” Mississippi is considered by many to be the most religious state in the country. The people here make up many religious denominations, including African Methodist Episcopal, Southern Baptist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Islamic, Jewish, Jehovah’s Witness, and more.

Noteworthy sights to see in Mississippi include the Vicksburg National Military Park and Horseshoe Casino. There is also the Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum, and the Tupelo Automobile Museum, among others.


In the state of Alabama, 77% of residents consider religion to be “very important.” In fact, religion is such a major factor in Alabama that 90% profess belief in God. Most there also agree that the world was created 10,000 years ago. Religious denominations in the state include Baptist, Episcopalian, Catholic, Lutheran, and Methodist.

Famous sights in Alabama include the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Civil Rights U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Cheaha State Park, and Huntsville Botanical Garden, among others.


In the state of Louisiana, 71% of residents consider religion to be “very important.” An overwhelming majority of the state classifies themselves as Christian, with some Evangelical Protestants mixed in as well. Also, 46% of the population reports that they attend church at least once per week.

Noteworthy sights to see in Louisiana include The National WWII Museum, Jackson Square, the Garden District, St. Louis Cathedral, and of course, the world-famous mardi gras festival, among others.


In the state of Arkansas, 70% of residents consider religion to be “very important.” Among those, Southern Baptists make up most of the population in the state, followed by independent or non-denominational churches. Over time, the religious landscape is becoming increasingly diverse.

Famous sights in Arkansas include the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Hot Springs National Park, and the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. Historians will enjoy the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, and Bathhouse Row, among other great locations.

South Carolina

In the state of South Carolina, 69% of residents consider religion to be “very important.” In South Carolina, 78% of those individuals identify as Christian. Only 3% identify as a religion other than Christianity. 

Noteworthy sights to see in South Carolina include the Charleston Pineapple Fountain, South Carolina State House, and the Peachoid in Gaffney. Visitors can also have a lot of fun at the famous Myrtle Beach.


In the state of Tennessee, 71% of residents consider religion to be “very important.” About 81% of them identify as Christian, and 73% of them are Protestants. It is said that there are over 11,000 churches in the state

Famous sights in Tennessee include Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Tennessee Aquarium, and Dollywood. Plus, there is the Memphis Zoo and Aquarium, and The Hermitage: President Andrew Jackson’s Home. Music lovers should check out the Grand Ole Opry House and Opry Museum.

North Carolina

In the state of North Carolina, 62% of residents consider religion to be “very important.” The residents of the state are very religious, with 77% being Christians and 3% making up non-Christian faiths. 

Noteworthy sights to see in North Carolina include the North Carolina Zoo, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There is also the Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Chimney Rock State Park, among others.


In the state of Georgia, 64% of residents consider religion to be “very important.” Georgia is made up of a wide variety of religions, with 83% identifying themselves as Christian, 10% Muslim, and other denominations, including Jewish, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Yazidis.

Outside of religion, there are other important sights in Georgia, including Stone Mountain Park, the Wormsloe Historic Site, Pebble Hill Plantation, and Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. Popular cities include Atlanta, Macon, and Savannah.


In the state of Oklahoma, 64% of residents consider religion to be “very important.” The residents of the state consider themselves to be Southern Baptists almost seven times more often than other people in America. Other popular denominations are Methodist and Pentecostal.

Some of the noteworthy sights to see in Oklahoma include the Philbrook Museum of Art, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma Aquarium, Bricktown, and the SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology, among other fun sights.

Summary of the 9 States That Make Up The Bible Belt

Here are the 9 States That Make Up The Bible Belt:

5South Carolina
7North Carolina


These are the primary states that make up the Bible Belt of the United States. Whether you are religious or not, it is worth it to take a trip to at least a few of these states. There is a lot of culture and history and many great sights to see along the way.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Billiion Photos/

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About the Author

Justin Zipprich is a writer at A-Z Animals, where his primary focus is travel, state facts, pets, and mammals. Justin has been writing and editing animal content for over 7 years, though he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Instructional Technology from Western Illinois University, which he earned in 2005. As a resident of Texas, he loves discovering local animals and spending time with his wife and two kids.

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