The 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study
May 12, 2015 6:23 AM Subscribe
America’s Changing Religious Landscape: The Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life has published the results of a new study of the religious affiliations of Americans, and finds a precipitous drop in the share of Christians since the last such study in 2007, along with a massive increase in the share of "nones" (which includes atheists, agnostics, and believers with no religious affiliation) and a small increase in the share of non-Christian faiths. Highlights below the fold.
- The Christian share of the population has fallen 7.8 percentage points from 2007 to 2014. The decline, both in absolute numbers and proportion, is particularly severe among mainline Protestants (-3.4), followed by Catholics (-3.1). Evangelical Protestants actually saw their numbers increase, even as their share of the population fell (-0.9). Evangelicals now constitute a majority of American Protestants.
- The share of the religiously unaffiliated (a.k.a. the "nones") went up by 6.7 percentage points, making them larger than either mainline Protestants or Catholics. About 31% of the unaffiliated identify as either atheist or agnostic, up from 25% in 2007. The unaffiliated are particularly concentrated among younger generations, though every generation polled saw growth in this category.
- The decline in the Christian share of the population appears not to have affected black Protestant churches, which saw no significant change in their numbers. Indeed, Christianity is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse across denominations.
- Non-Christian faiths have continued to grow in their proportion of the population (+1.2), particularly Islam (0.5) and Hinduism (0.3). Even so, they collectively only make up 5.9% of the total population.
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