Christmas Gallup Poll Shows Slight Growth of Religious ‘Nones’

The latest Gallup poll shows that 15.6% of people have no religious identity, up from 15% a year ago, and 2.2% of people gave no response when asked to identify their religious identity.

Keep in mind that these numbers include people who are religious (without a label) and people who believe in God (but claim not to be religious).

Still, we’re talking about a group of people that is larger than the Mormons, Jews, Muslims, and non-Christians faiths combined.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Tough to know what to make of a an increase by an additional 0.6 percent.

    But to me the clear BIAS in the DISPLAY of the data is that those with no religious affiliation should be listed on line #3 (after Protestant/Other Christian and Catholics).

    Why does the Gallup group give higher listing to Jews, Muslims, and Mormons, when their data does not warrant it???

  • Cat’s Staff

    I would like to see them as the question that would split everyone into two groups… “Do you think there is anything supernatural, or not?” Simple as that. Putting that question to people would start to get them to question where they stand on that issue.

  • Georgina

    I always wanted to tick “not superstitious”but never found that box.

  • OlinR

    I don’t think you can reject the null hypothesis that the percentage is unchanged, at least with high certainty.

  • ragarth

    This falls inside the % error of +/-1%, therefore is not really indicative of much.

    @cat’s staff,

    I’ve met many a religious person who sincerely believes that a story about a talking snake in a tree that convinces a woman to eat a piece of fruit and therefore brings all suffering and pain into the world isn’t superstitious. Also, using the word ‘superstitious’ could also be considered pejorative and would therefore poison the results. These two issues would make any survey of religious belief that equates religion with superstition a very badly constructed survey.

    A better survey would be switching ‘no religious belief’ for ‘no religious identity’ Since the word identity produces a vague result.

  • JIM W

    How do they know who and where were are?

  • abb3w

    With an N of 326271, the 1% interval sounds like they’ve rounded up, or have astounding weighing issues.

    A slight rise would continue the existing expected demographic trend, however.

  • Cat’s Staff

    I didn’t use the term superstitious, I said supernatural. A person could say they have no ‘religious identity’ but still believe there is something supernatural (a generic higher power, karma, vaguely defined afterlife). Some of the problem is that people don’t always know what the terms mean. They think if they don’t show up to church they don’t have religion, but they might still believe in ALL of it. So the question “Is the natural world all there is, or is there something outside of it, i.e. supernatural?”