Atheists Now Make Up 0.1% of the Federal Prison Population

How many atheists are in the U.S. federal prison system?

Is the percentage of atheists in prison more or less than what we’d find in the general population?

And are any of those numbers actually meaningful?

Two years ago, I set out to explore those questions. I found that self-described atheists made up an astonishingly-low 0.07% of the prison population, far less than anyone expected. (Though that percentage came with several caveats.)

I wanted to know if those numbers had changed at all since 2013, so earlier this summer, I filed another FOIA request with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. This time, I didn’t just ask for the religious demographics of all prisoners; I also requested a state-by-state breakdown. The information arrived earlier this week (broken down by individual prisons instead of states). You can see the raw data here along with a spreadsheet I created.



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Here’s What the Research Shows About Public Perceptions of Atheists

Will Gervais, the University of Kentucky professor who’s done a lot of research into public perception of atheism, gave a talk a few months ago at the University of Texas at Austin, and the video is now up online:



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Non-Religious People Abound in Large U.S. Cities

Earlier this year, the Public Religion Research Institute informed us of the least religious cities in the country. They just published the religious breakdowns of the biggest cities in America. And surprise! They’re full of heathens:



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Survey Says the U.S. Isn’t a Christian Nation… but I’m Not Sure What They Think We Are

A new survey published by LifeWay Research shows that most Americans don’t believe this is a “Christian nation.”



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56% of Non-Religious Americans Have Smoked Pot

According to a new Gallup poll, 44% of all Americans say they’ve tried marijuana at some point in their lives, a number that jumps to 56% when looking specifically at the Nones (atheists, Agnostics, and those with no religious affiliation).

Furthermore, while 11% of all Americans admit to currently smoking pot, 18% of the Nones said the same thing. (Both percentages are, of course, underestimates since some respondents probably didn’t want to admit to it even if their anonymity was guaranteed.)



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