Who Does Not Attend Church

Who Does Not Attend Church July 12, 2023

We know that church attendance is declining in the United States.  But who, exactly, has stopped going to church?  Lifeway Research has dug into that question and has some fascinating findings.

According to Lifeway researcher Aaron Earls, about a third of Americans attend church regularly, twice a month or more (32%); about a third sometimes attend (34% ); and about a third never attend (34%).

Of the 34% who do not attend, as of 2022, here are the segments most unlike to go to church:


Today 38% of men say they never go to church.  As compared to 30% of women.

This is concerning because, as I have blogged about, research keeps showing that when fathers accompany their children to church, those children will usually go to church when they grow up.  And when the fathers don’t go, their children usually won’t either.

Young Adults

Of adults under 35, 40% never go to church.

Lower- and working-class Americans

Among self-identified lower-class Americans, nearly half (47%) never go to church.  Among the self-identified working class, 35% never attend.

Among the middle class, 30% never attend, and among the upper class, only 24% never attend.

This is something else that I have long been harping on!  See my posts Why Don’t Churches Try to Reach the Biggest Demographic of the Unchurched? and Spiritual Crisis in the White Working Class.  And yet no one seems to believe me, as churches focus their outreach efforts on the middle class and the elites.

The Never Married

Among Americans who have never married, 40% never go to church.  Conversely, those who are married (30%) or widowed (31%) are the least likely to say they never attend.


As recently as 1996, Democrats and Republicans attended church at the same rate.  But then after that point, the political parties’ church attendance began going in the opposite direction.  Today 35% of Democrats say they never go to church.  Only 22% of Republicans don ‘t go to church, making them the least likely to say they never attend.  But the biggest political segment that doesn’t attend are the Independents at 38%.

Any speculation about why this would be?  What happened in 1996 to make Democrats less religious?  I would think part of this is the rise of radical progressivism and identity politics within the party, with feminists shouting their abortions and the LGBTQ folks celebrating their sexual practices, requiring ideologies that do not accord with any traditional religion.  But why are the less ideological Independents not going to church?


Photo via pxfuel, royalty free stock photos



Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!