Study: Religion Dying In The United States


A recent study shows that participation in organized religion may be falling in the U.S.  Research from Duke University and University College London shows that the number of Americans who attend church, identify as religious, and believe in God has dropped.

The study suggests that Americans are becoming less religious with each generation, reports Pakistan Today. While roughly 94 percent of polled Americans born before 1935 identify as religious, only 71 percent of those born after 1975 say the same.

Millennials are particularly less religious than other groups, according to the study.  Only 45 percent of Americans aged 18-30 have “no doubt God exists”, compared to 68 percent of Americans aged 65 and above.

The study reverses previously held beliefs about religion in the United States. While other developed countries like Great Britain, Australia and Canada have experienced a drop in religious participation for decades, researchers have seen the U.S. as separate from the trend until now. 

The new study shows that religion in America is declining for reasons similar to other developed western countries, according to researcher David Voas.

“It has become increasingly clear that American religiosity has been declining for decades, and the decline is driven by the same dynamic- generational differences- that has driven religious decline across the developed world,” wrote Voas.

The Duke-UCL research echoes a similar study conducted by Pew Research Center from 2007-14.  According to the study, the amount of Americans who identify as religious moderately declined over those seven years, reports Pew.

The percentage of American adults who say that they believe in God declined from 92 percent to 89 percent in 2014.  Those who reported praying daily and attending religious services fell by a similarly small margin. 

The Duke-UCL study’s authors claim that Americans’ religious tendencies reflect global trends.

“If you break it down over five year chunks, each age group is a little less religious than the one before it,” said Mark Chaves, the study’s co-author. 

Sources: Pakistan Today, Pew Research / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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