US religious affiliation is at its lowest point ever, with the "nones," the religiously unaffiliated, growing at an incredibly rapid rate. Last year, 20 percent of Americans claimed they had no religious preference, more than double the number reported in 1990.
Findings from the survey shows religious affiliation in the United States is at its lowest point since such information began to be tracked in the 1930s.
Researchers report 20 percent of a nationally representative group reported no religious preference, continuing a trend of Americans disavowing a speciﬁc religious afﬁliation that began in the 1950s but has accelerated greatly since 1990.
The study demonstrates a correlation between college-aged individuals and a decline in religious affiliation.
An analysis of the results also suggests the following:
- Liberals are far more likely to claim “no religion” (40 percent) than conservatives (9 percent)
- Men are more likely than women to claim “no religion” (24 percent of men versus 16 percent of women).
- More whites claimed “no religion” (21 percent) compared to African Americans (17 percent) and Mexican Americans (14 percent).
- More than one-third of 18-to-24-year-olds claimed “no religion” compared to just 7 percent of those 75 and older.
UC Berkeley sociologists Mike Hout and Claude Fischer , along with Mark Chaves of Duke University, analyzed the data on religious attitudes as part of the General Social Survey, a highly cited biannual poll conducted by NORC, an independent research institute at the University of Chicago.