Less People Believe in God, More are Exiting the Church

Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Only 61% of the religiously unaffiliated say they believe in God, compared to 70% in 2007.

Pew Research Center's 2014 Religious Landscape Study reveals that the percentage of religiously affiliated Americans are holding steady, while those who say they are religiously unaffiliated – the 'nones', after their choice of religious affiliation – are gaining prominence.

Less People Believe in God, More are Exiting the Church[/tweetthis]

Among those who say they are affiliated to a particular religion or denomination, 97% believe in God. This figure is not different from a similar survey conducted in 2007, and 66% of this demographic pray daily, up from 65% seven years ago. 64% of this category said religion was important to them in 2007, and this jumped two points to 66% in 2014. 63% of them attended services at least once a month in 2007 – this declined ever so slightly to 62% in 2014.

61% of the religiously unaffiliated or the 'nones' said they believed in God. This is down from 70% in 2007, pointing to an increasing disbelief in God among the American population. This was reflected in their general outlook and activities as well – only 20% of them pray daily, a decline of 2% from the percentage who did so in 2007. Only 13% of the 'nones' consider religion to be important, while it was 16% in 2007. The percentage of the 'nones' who attended religious services at least once a month dropped from 10% in 2007 to 9% in 2014.

How America became less religious

The growth of the unaffiliated as a share of the population, coupled with their declining levels of religious observance, is tugging down the nation’s overall rates of religious belief and practice.

Posted by Pew Research Center on Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The 'nones' have been increasingly drawing further away from God. When asked how important religion was in their life, 65% responded with 'not at all' in 2014. In 2007, 57% had replied in this fashion. Those who think it is very/somewhat important constituted 34%, sadly lesser than the 41% witnessed in 2007. When asked how often they pray, 62% replied never, up from 56% seven years ago. At least once a month? It is now 37%. This figure was 42% in 2007. On the question of how often, they attend religious services, 91% said they did so once a year or less. This is higher than the 89% that was reported in 2007. Those who attended services at least once a month made up 9%, a fall from the 10% seen in 2007.

Those who are religiously unaffiliated now form 28% of all Democrats, the biggest percentage if religious affiliations were to be considered. Up from 19% in 2007, the latest statistics may give the Democratic Party something to consider when choosing its candidate for the U.S. Presidential Elections in 2016. The 'nones' also formed 14% of all Republicans, their influence in the Republican Party rising by four percent from what it was in 2007.


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