Scotland’s 2011 Census Data May Have Underrepresented the Percent of Non-Religious Citizens

The results from Scotland’s 2011 census have just been released (take your sweet time, Scotland) and they show a growing divergence when it comes to religious beliefs:

Over half (54 per cent) of the population of Scotland stated their religion as Christian — a decrease of 11 percentage points since 2001 — whilst 37 per cent of people stated that they had no religion — an increase of nine percentage points since 2001.

Good news, right?

Well, the Humanist Society Scotland says the results don’t reflect the truth about the religious identities of the Scottish people. The disparity is much greater than the census claims, they say:

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New Poll Shows That 1 in 3 Young Jewish Americans Are Not Religious

A new survey on Jewish Americans released just now by the Pew Research Center shows what we’ve come to expect from these reports: They are becoming less religious overall, with Millennial Jews even less religious than their older counterparts:

A Pew Research reanalysis of the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey suggests that at that time, 93% of Jews in that study were Jews by religion and 7% were Jews of no religion (after some adjustments to make the NJPS and Pew Research categories as similar as possible). In the new Pew Research survey, 78% of Jews are Jews by religion, and fully 22% are Jews of no religion (including 6% who are atheist, 4% who are agnostic and 12% whose religion is “nothing in particular”). Though the two studies employed different question wording and methodologies and are thus not directly comparable, the magnitude of these differences suggests that Jews of no religion have grown as a share of the Jewish population and the overall U.S. public. The new Pew Research survey finds that approximately 0.5% of U.S. adults — about 1.2 million people — are Jews of no religion.

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According to New Report, Hispanic Adults Are Losing Their Faith As They Get Older

Coinciding with National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Public Religion Research Institute just released a report called the “2013 Hispanic Values Survey.”

The big highlight for us is this one:

Compared with their religious affiliation as children, the percent of religiously “Unaffiliated” Hispanic adults more than doubles over time (from 5% to 12%) — that is to say, many Hispanics are losing their faith as they get older:

The percentage of Hispanic evangelical Christians changes by roughly the same amount, but it seems fair to say our side is gobbling up some of those young Hispanic Catholics.

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Study Shows That Young ‘Nones’ Are Not Just Spiritual Seekers

According to a new report by researchers Barry A. Kosmin & Ariela Keysar, nearly 30% of college students are “Secular” (as opposed to “Religious” or “Spiritual”).

The report is part of the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) series from Trinity College and was produced in conjunction with the Center for Inquiry.

So what did we learn?

The biggest finding may be that, among the students who identified as “Secular,” more than 80% didn’t identify with any religion. Neither did more than 40% of the “Spiritual” crowd.

We know that “Nones” are on the rise but the common wisdom has been that a lot of those young people aren’t really atheists. They’re more like “spiritual-but-not-religious.” Not so, says this study:

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Searching for Atheist K-12 Teachers Who Fall Into These Particular Demographics…

Craig and Aimee Howley at Ohio University are doing research on K-12 teachers/administrators who are also non-religious. I’ve posted before about a project they’re working on, but there are still a few groups of people they haven’t heard from yet. If you’re out there, please consider reaching out to them!

As some followers of the Friendly Atheist may remember, we are conducting a study of the experiences of non-believer (atheist, agnostic, humanist) teachers in schools located primarily in the United States. We are trying to get as full a picture as possible of the experience of being an atheist teacher in America, and — despite having interviewed 80 teachers — we’re still missing people from some very important backgrounds:

– Culturally Jewish
– African American
– Conservative Republican

If you belong to any of these groups and are willing to participate in a telephone interview that will last about an hour, please contact Aimee Howley, Ohio University, Educational Studies Department — howley@ohio.edu.

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