Why is the South more religion than the West? It could be the surrounding.

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Do you live somewhere in the U.S. that’s B-E–A utiful ?

I’m talkin’ cover-of-a-travel-brochure lovely here.

You are what they call easy on the eyes , Big Sur, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/ Getty Images.

If you do, you’re also least likely to be traditionally religious.

I know not the most obvious connection. But an area’s natural environment and its population’s religious affiliations( or lack thereof) are actually correlated.

New research by a unit at Baylor University examined 3,107 counties across the continental U.S. and found that those with more natural amenities that is, nice climate and beautiful landscapes are home to fewer traditionally religion beings .

Ahhh, lookin’ good, Springdale, Utah. Photo by David Becker/ Getty Images.

To reach that opinion, they utilized the Religious Parish and Membership Study, which provides data on how numerous populations across the country marks when it is necessary to belief. They too exploited the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Amenities Scale, which grades counties based on the number of “environmental calibers most people prefer”( think interesting sceneries, warm winters, access to sea … you are familiar with, the places you’ve been seduced to move your entire adult life ).

And voil! They discovered a motif. Check it out on the maps below. The one on top reflects the Natural Amenities Scale( the darker the county, the more natural amenities it has ). The map on bottom manifests the concentrations of people who determine as religion( the darker the county, the more religion it is ).

See how the maps are inverted in many areas of the U.S .?

Top map via the Department of Agriculture. Bottom map via the Religious Parishes and Membership Study.

Researchers obligated sure to hold different variables that could play important roles in the pattern. Take, for example, civic organizations and a community’s recreational opportunities( alternatives to religion action that take up a person’s epoch) when two counties had the same sum, the one with most natural amenities had fewer religious parties.

The correlation was most evident in the countries of the western U.S ., which had both the lowest overall charge of religion districts and the highest median degree of natural amenities .

The study recommends earth’s natural elegance may, in a sense, help the same purpose as belief for an individual.

Yaas, working here, Nantucket, Massachusetts! Matt Campbell/ AFP/ Getty Images.

The satisfaction some Americans get from being one with nature may fill the same necessary other Americans fill through their religious faith, according to the study.

“When a person hikes in a forest to connect with the hallowed, she or he may not detect it was necessary to affiliate with a religious formation because her or his spiritual requirements are met.”

And that’s various kinds of beautiful, if you ask me.

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