According to the study, [by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB)] close to 75 percent of Buddhist 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 Buddhist city with approximately 1.25 percent identifying as a Buddhist adherent. The researchers found the greater area of Birmingham, AL to be the least Buddhist city with only 0.006 percent identifying as a Buddhist adherent.The list includes 50 cities, so I'll post the top ten and rest you'll find in the full article (link):
1). Metro area: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
2). San Diego, CA
3). San Francisco, CA
4). Seattle, WA
5). Los Angeles, CA
6). Sacramento, CA
7). Las Vegas, NV
8). Oklahoma City, OK
9). Denver, CO
10). Raleigh, NC
Being from the Denver area, I was interested to see it listed in the top 10. It makes sense considering the strong presence of the Tibetan Buddhist, Shambhala tradition here. There is a Shambhala shrine known as "The Great Stupa" in the mountains northwest of Denver. In addition, the city of Boulder is home to the Buddhist university, Naropa. There are also a lot of Vietnamese-Buddhist immigrants in the Denver metro area.
I was surprised that Oklahoma City made the list, and I was shocked that New York City didn't make the top 10. It came in at number 17--just below Salt Lake City!! The following is the how they came up with these rankings:
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.The least Buddhist cities include: Birmingham, Alabama and Cincinnati, Ohio.