Sioux County is probably the most Christian county in all of Iowa.“In a town of 7,000 people — 19 churches,” Jordan Helming, a local resident, tells me.The county has the highest portion of evangelicals in the state and an even higher rate of mainline Protestants, according to the Association of Religious Data Archives.
Sioux County also scores high on other important measures: It has the second-lowest portion of residents on disability in Iowa and the lowest drug-overdose rate in the state.
A few counties south, Pottawattamie County — home to Council Bluffs — is Iowa’s least religious large county, according to ARDA’s numbers. Pottawattamie has one religious organization per 1,400 residents, one-third the rate of Sioux County.
Counties at the bottom of ARDA’s religiosity rankings in Iowa — Pottawattamie, Adams, and Appanoose — also have (per capita) the most overdoses, the most violent crimes, and the most disability claims.