U.S. Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

An update on America's changing religious landscape

By Thoth777 | 9 February 2020
Daily Kos

The religious landscape of the US continues to change at a rapid clip. (Photo by Tomáš Malík on Unsplash)

The number of Americans who believe in God continues a substantial decline. In their latest survey of religion, the Pew Research Center found, “In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace.” (1) [All data quoted in this diary comes from this report].

Democrats tend to be less religious than Republicans. Pew found about six-in-ten people who identified with or lean toward the Democratic Party say they attend religious services no more than a few times a year. Fully one-third of Democrats make up religious “nones.” The ranks of religious “nones” and infrequent churchgoers also are growing within the Republican Party, though they make up smaller shares of Republicans than Democrats.

The number of Americans who call themselves Christian declined from 77% ten years ago to 65% in 2019. What is worse (or better), the absolute number of Christians declined. In 2019, the country had thirteen million fewer Christians at one hundred sixty-six million.

Protestants have nine million fewer members, two million less born-again’s, and seven million less non-born-again’s. Catholics are down by two million. Mormons were up slightly, but their % remained the same at 2%.

People who identified themselves as atheists, agnostics, or “nothing in particular” increased by twenty-seven million to sixty-seven million people. Today, 17% of Americans say they never attend religious services up from 11% a decade ago.

The data also shows a wide gap between older Americans and Millennials in their levels of religious affiliation and attendance. People born between 1928 and 1945 describe themselves as Christians 84% of the time. Baby Boomers only 76% of the time. In stark contrast, only 49% of Millenials describe themselves as Christian. Four-in-ten Millenials described themselves as “nones,” and one-in-ten identified with non-Christian faith.

Christians have declined, and “nones” have grown as a share of the adult population in all four major regions. Catholic losses were more pronounced in the Northeast, where 36% identified as Catholic in 2009, compared with 27% today. Among Protestants, declines were most significant in the South, where Protestants now account for 53% of the adult population, down from 64% in 2009.

Christians need to be asking themselves why they are becoming less relevant. Less Christian influence should bode well for Democrats.

(1) In the U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at a Rapid Pace, Pew Research Center: pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/

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43 COMMENTS

  1. Everything that happens has a reason: some day we’ll see…

    The truth is that we are alive!!
    so try to live loving and helping the others instead of fighting.

  2. Your first paragraph was brutally honest.

    People do bad things for various reasons, some for personal gain, some to serve an ideology.

    If only you’d stopped your argument right there.

    Once you started preaching for Jesus, your impartiality and rationality evaporated.

  3. I love how religious zealots think a lack of belief in their preferred religion means a lack of faith in a Higher Power(s). Religious nuts do not own the concept of “god”, as there are many non-religious Deists & Pantheists who have spiritual ideals and concepts different from those peddled by mainstream big-box religious ideology. I cheer the decline of Christianity, since it has been highjacked by fascists, racists, violently homophobic Neanderthals, greedy liars and woman-hating fetus idolaters. I once thought to be “Christian” meant to be “Christ-like”, but those people, those true-believers are so few and far between (sadly).
    Goodbye, Christianity! Hello New World!

  4. As a child I was very interested in learning about Christ. Born into a Catholic family during the time of the mass in Latin, I found it all to be confusing and could not keep up with the mass in that stupid little prayer book. I asked my Ma if I could try other sects who taught about Jesus in English. What an adventure that turned out to be. It was the congregations of those Protestant varieties that turned me off completely to organized religion. The hypocrisy of the so-called faithful ripped through me until I finally decided to never set foot in a church again.
    I don't believe in God. I don't believe in miracles or virgin births. I do believe the poppies in the Middle East caused some fantastic hallucinations and that's where the sense of miracles came from.

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