Good news for rational people: A new poll shows more Americans continue to abandon belief in God, while the number of Americans who identify as religiously unaffiliated continues to rise.
According to a comprehensive new study released by the Pew Research Center, Americans are becoming less religious, and anti-science, anti-gay rhetoric seems to be a significant factor in driving many American away from religious superstition.
A growing share of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, including some who self-identify as atheists or agnostics as well as many who describe their religion as “nothing in particular.” Altogether, the religiously unaffiliated (also called the “nones”) now account for 23% of the adult population, up from 16% in 2007.
Among the findings:
- The share of Americans who say they are “absolutely certain” that God exists has dropped eight percentage points, from 71 percent to 63 percent, since 2007, when the last comparable study was made.
- The percentage of adults who describe themselves as “religiously affiliated” has shrunk six points since 2007, from 83 percent to 77 percent.
- The shares of the U.S. adult population who consider religion “very important” to them, pray daily, and attend services at least once a month have declined between three and four percent over the last eight years.
Raw Story reports the trend is most pronounced among young adults, with only half of those born from 1990 to 1996 absolutely certain of their belief in God, compared to 71 percent of the “silent generation,” or those born from 1928 to 1945.
Younger people also are less likely to pray daily, at 39 percent, compared to “silent generation” adults at 67 percent. Young adults are also much less likely to attend religious services, the survey found.
The poll reflects a well established trend showing Americans of all ages abandoning religious superstition. According to a comprehensive study released last May by the Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life, every demographic group in the U.S. has seen a significant drop in people who call themselves Christians.
The survey of 35,000 American adults shows the Christian percentage of the population dropping sharply. In 2007, the last time Pew conducted a similar survey, 78.4% of American adults called themselves Christian. In 2014, 70.6% of Americans called themselves Christians, reflecting a drop of nearly 8%.
Bottom line: the percentage of Americans who say they believe in God, pray daily, and attend church regularly is declining. And that is good news.