Over Quarter Follow No Religion: Americans Becoming Less Christian

Over Quarter Follow No Religion: Americans Becoming Less Christian October 21, 2019

I know I’m a bit late to the game on this one as I meant to post this last week. The Pew Research Center has produced more data concerning the religiosity of Americans, and the trend towards irreligiosity continues, particularly amongst the young.

As The Guardian reports:

The United States is becoming a less Christian country, and the decline in religious affiliation is particularly rapid among younger Americans, new figures show.

The proportion of US adults who describe themselves as Christian has fallen to two-thirds, a drop of 12 percentage points over the past decade, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

Over the same period, the proportion of those describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” has risen by 17 percentage points to more than a quarter of the adult population.

Although churches and faith movements continue to exert strong political influence on the Trump administration and at the state level, the proportion of American adults attending religious services has declined.

The proportion of US adults who are white born-again or evangelical Protestants – the religious group which strives hardest to see its political agenda adopted – is now 16%, down from 19% a decade ago.

The number going to church at least once or twice a month has fallen by seven percentage points over the past decade. More Americans now say they attend religious services a few times a year or less (54%) than say they attend at least monthly (45%).

The fall in religious identification and activity has affected both Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. According to Pew, 43% of adults identify with Protestantism, down from 51% in 2009. And 20% are Catholic, down from 23% in 2009.

Fewer than half of millennials (49%) describe themselves as Christians; four in 10 are religious “nones”, and 9% identify with non-Christian faiths.

As many millennials say they never attend religious services (22%) as those who say they go at least once a week.

These “nones” continue to expand as a demographic in the States, and as I have discussed several times before (not least in the reporting of a Democratic resolution recently), this group now stands to be an important one in terms of voters. At some point, the Republicans will even need to start courting them, or fear losing further relevance to voters as habits shift. “Religious ‘nones’ are growing faster among Democrats than Republicans, though their ranks are swelling in both partisan coalitions.”

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