UNITED STATES, December 5, 2012 (Huffington Post): (HPI Note: This study counts only Hindus who identify as part of a local temple congregation. It is not based on the actual population of Hindus or Indian-Americans in a specific area, and may not even accurately count Hindus connected with a temple. See http://www.rcms2010.org/images/2010_U ... ion_Census_Appendix_G.pdf for an interesting description of the methodology.)
A study measuring religious bodies in the United States called the, "2010 U.S. Religious Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study (RCMS)" was recently released by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB). The most comprehensive study of its kind, it provides detailed county by county information on congregations, members, adherents and attendance for 236 different faiths groups. (The survey differentiates between specific denominations within the same tradition.)
According to the study, close to 80 percent of Hindu congregations are located in metropolitan areas with population greater than a million. Of these metro areas, the researchers found San Jose to be the most Hindu city with approximately 2.5 percent identifying as a Hindu adherent. The researchers found the greater area of Baltimore, MD to be the least Hindu city with only 0.003 percent identifying as a Hindu adherent.
The researchers define adherents to be those with an affiliation to a congregation including children, members and attendees who are not members, and believe that the adherent measure is the most complete and comparable across religious groups. Congregations are defined as groups of people who meet regularly at a pre-announced time and location.
Approximately 641,200 Hindu adherents and 1,625 congregations were reported across the country. With more than 80,000 Hindu adherents, the greater area of New York, NY-NJ-PA reported the highest number of Hindu adherents, whereas the greater area of Baltimore, MD reported the lowest -- only 71 identified as Hindu adherents. Similarly, with 195 congregations, the greater area of New York, NY-NJ-PA reported the highest number of congregations in a million-plus metropolitan area, whereas the greater area of Providence, RI-MA reported the lowest with just three Hindu congregations.
Only 416 counties across the country reported the presence of Hindu adherents, and most Hindu adherents in the United States live near the East Coast or the West Coast.