'No Religious Affiliation' is Rising in the U.S.

The religious affiliation decline over the last decade

The Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) has been conducting surveys for more than a decade. The surveys have been carried out to check the political attitudes as well as demographical shifts for Americans. The sample size is quite large, and the data that was revealed was found to be incredible. Professor Ryan P. Burge of Eastern Illinois University has looked through the data to find out how much religious beliefs have evolved. Three of the changes he observed has been explained in a post.

The first thing Professor Burge looked at was the changes in the past decade when it comes to religious affiliation. It’s common knowledge that the popularity of organized religion has been dwindling. However, the numbers for many denominations have remained stable. While there have been gains as well as drops for many groups, there isn’t a group that is on a perpetual downhill course. What’s interesting is that the “No Religion” line in the data is going higher and higher. There have been many surveys which have shown that “none” is on an upward spiral. “None” is now the largest single “religious” group in America.

When Burge looked at which religious group had experienced the most significant rise between 2008 and 2018 between each state, the “None” category is ruling the roost. The largest growth of “None” was experienced across the United States except for Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, South Dakota, and Washington D.C.

When you look at the number for all states in 2008 and 2018, you’ll notice that in nearly every state, the number of non-religious people have grown. Hawaii experienced a 22.9 percent growth in “Nones.” At the same time, Wisconsin experienced an increase of 19.5 percent, West Virginia experienced a growth of 18.6 percent, and Rhode Island experienced a growth of 17.4 percent.

While these places aren’t a beacon of progressiveness in the United States, the overall growth is huge. The nones have grown to double digits in 24 states while the only state that the nones actually declined was in South Dakota. However, the nones only fell a mere 0.3 percent in South Dakota. The states which experienced the slowest growth were Arkansas at 4 percent, Florida at 5.3 percent and Kansas at 4.5 percent.

An interesting takeaway is that places such as Hawaii, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have experienced a major cultural shift over the past decade.

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