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Number of Christians in U.S. has declined by 13 million since 2009, says Pew Research Center data

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Number of Christians in U.S. has declined by 13 million since 2009, says Pew Research Center data

The quantity of Americans who determine as Christian has fallen by 13 million over the past 10 years whereas those that aren’t affiliated with any faith grew by 30 million, based on polling data from the Pew Research Center.

The survey’s outcomes, launched Thursday, present that 65% of American adults (about 167 million) describe themselves as Christian, down from 77% a decade in the past. Meanwhile, 26% (about 67 million) describe themselves as non secular “nones” (atheists, agnostics and nonaffiliated), up from 17% in 2009.

While the pollsters didn’t counsel a trigger for the decline, the data confirms that self-identified Protestants and Catholics, as a share of the U.S. inhabitants, are on a downward pattern: 43% of U.S. adults (about 110 million) recognized themselves as Protestant, down from 51% in 2009. And 20% (about 51 million) recognized as Catholic, down from 23% a decade in the past.

At the identical time, the proportion of atheists has doubled to 4% since 2007.

“The data shows that just like rates of religious affiliation, rates of religious attendance are declining,” wrote the pollsters, led by Gregory A. Smith, Pew’s affiliate director of analysis.



The non secular tendencies additionally influence the political panorama: “Religious ‘nones’ are growing faster among Democrats than Republicans, though their ranks are swelling in both partisan coalitions,” the Pew report states.

In 2007, 72% of Democrats described themselves as Christian; that portion has fallen to 55%. Today, roughly a 3rd of Democrats most intently align with non secular “nones.” Today, practically 80% of Republicans determine as Christian, down from 87%.

The greatest motion, nonetheless, could be amongst white Democrats, because the data suggests church attendance nonetheless excessive amongst minority Democrats. While fewer than 30% of white Democrats say they attend non secular providers month-to-month, that quantity is greater than double for black Democrats (61%).

For the primary time, fewer than half of Hispanics described themselves as Catholic (47%), down from 57% 10 years in the past. And millennials (1 in 10) are a lot doubtless than child boomers (6 in 100) or older Americans (4 in 100) to explain themselves as belonging to a non-Christian religion.

The data was collected from a phone survey performed by Pew in 2018 and 2019.

The survey additionally suggests non-Christian faiths are gaining a foothold amongst extra Americans, if nonetheless marginally as a proportion of the inhabitants. The proportion of Jewish Americans has held regular (2%), whereas Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus every account for 1% of the inhabitants. Three p.c of Americans determine with different faiths or describe themselves as “spiritual.”

A spokeswoman for Pew stated the data doesn’t make clear causes in the rise of “nones,” however clerical abuse scandals which have shaken mainline Christian faiths, such because the Catholic church or the Southern Baptist Conference, are sometimes pointed to by observers of such data. But the data doesn’t instantly level this out.

The share of American Protestants calling themselves “born again” or “evangelical” rose by 3%, maybe reflecting the loss of Protestants not claiming both one of these identifiers.

While the influence of rising disaffiliation with faith in America just isn’t identified, a brand new examine from the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy launched Thursday means that whereas attendance in pews declines, giving is up.

Nearly half of the 1,200 congregations surveyed — together with church buildings, synagogues, mosques, and different homes of worship — say income from contributors has elevated.

A report from GivingUSA earlier this yr stated that Americans concerned in some worship observe have been extra doubtless to offer to charity than those that weren’t concerned in any observe.

This article relies in half on wire service experiences.

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