A Gallup poll released Monday says the U.S. is still "a largely Christian nation," though it is Mormons who are most likely to view their beliefs as an important part of their daily lives.
According to the research, 77 percent of America's adult population identifies with a Christian religion. That includes 52 percent of people who said they were Protestant (or some other non-Catholic and non-Mormon Christian religion), and 23 percent who said they were Catholic.
Although some contend that Mormonism is not a Christian religion, the Gallup poll includes the two percent of people who identified themselves as Mormons in its statistics on Christians.
Although those who identify with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints make up a small fraction of the nation's population, Mormons are "by far the most religious of any group in this analysis," the study says.
When asked if their religion was important to their daily lives, 87 percent of Mormons said yes, as opposed to 79 percent of Protestants and "other" Christians, 78 percent of Muslims and 70 percent of Catholics. Among religious groups, those who affiliated themselves with the Jewish faith were least likely to say their religion was important in their day to day lives (41 percent).
Mormons were also most likely to attend religious services in 2012, with 81 percent of them attending services at least once per month, as compared to 64 percent of Protestant and "other" Christians, 64 percent of Muslims, 60 percent of Catholics, 34 percent of Jews and 32 percent of adherents to other, non-Christian religions.
A small percentage (13 percent) of those who had no religious identity or provided no response also said they attended religious services at least once per month.
The study of religious preferences, which was conducted between Jan. 2 and Nov. 30 of this year and consisted of over 326,000 interviews, shows little change in the religious makeup of the United States since 2011. Protestant and Catholic affiliations were down one percent in 2012, and there was a one percent increase in "other" non-Christian religion adherents. The percentage of people affiliated with the Mormon, Jewish, and Muslim faiths stayed the same.
In October, media outlets across the U.S. reported on a Pew Research Center study which found that the percentage of American adults who are unaffiliated with any religion – the "nones" – has risen rapidly, from 15 percent to just under 20 percent, in the last five years.
The Gallup poll showed no increase in the number of people who have no religious identity (or who provided no response) between 2011 and 2012, however, with 18 percent of people saying they belonged in this category both years.