May 172010

The geography of religion in Mexico is changing quite rapidly.

Mexico is a predominately Catholic country, but is becoming less so with each passing decade.  In 1980 96% of Mexicans said they were Catholics; this dropped to 88% in 2000 and is estimated at about 80% in 2010. While the proportion non-Catholic is growing in all parts of the country, it is most apparent in southeastern Mexico.

In 2000, only 64% of those in Chiapas identified themselves as Catholics, fully 24% below the national average.  Other southern states were not far behind: Tabasco – 70%, Campeche – 71%, Quintana Roo – 74%; followed by Veracruz – 83%, Yucatán – 84% and Oaxaca – 85%.  Given existing trends, these percentages are expected to be considerably lower in the 2010 census.

About 10% of those in southern Mexico are classified as Protestant or Evangelical. Close to 10% are classified as having “no religion”, 13% in Chiapas. Indigenous language speakers and males were most likely to place themselves in this category.  The smallest, but fastest growing group in southern Mexico is the “Biblical, not Evangelical” group, which includes Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormons.

The geography of Mexico’s religions is discussed in chapter 11 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico.


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