Pew Forum survey on American religion

A survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life of 35,000 Americans found that 44% of them have changed affiliations between “major faith traditions,” such as from Baptist to Methodist. 28% have switched between traditions.

Protestants make up a bare majority of Americans–51.3%.

16% classify themselves as not affiliated with any faith (despite only 7% being brought up that way), and 4% as atheist or agnostic.

Mormons account for 1.7% of the population, Muslims 0.6%, and Hindus 0.4%.

Those 18-29 were more likely to be unaffiliated with any religion than those over 70.

Catholicism has had the greatest loss of adherents, offset by Catholic immigrants, while the unaffiliated have had the greatest gain.

UPDATE (March 8, 2008): A Los Angeles Times op-ed by mathematician John Allen Poulos, author of the recent book Irreligion, argues that the number of unbelievers is probably underreported due to the general public’s mistrust of atheists.

About Jim Lippard
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13565890121197051580 John W. Loftus

    Believers who may claim this data undermines the sociological fact that people initially adopt the religion of their parents are mistaken

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05537213558568338561 libhom

    “16% classify themselves as not affiliated with any faith (despite only 7% being brought up that way), and 4% as atheist or agnostic.”

    Is the 4% given as atheist or agnostic part of the 16% or separate?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    The 4% is part of the 16% (but it’s 4% of the total, not 4% of the 16%).


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X