Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Poll: 15% of the US has no religion

ARIS poll:

The percentage of Christians in America, which declined in the 1990s from 86.2 percent to 76.7 percent, has now edged down to 76 percent. Ninety percent of the decline comes from the non-Catholic segment of the Christian population, largely from the mainline denominations, including Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians/Anglicans, and the United Church of Christ. These groups, whose proportion of the American population shrank from 18.7 percent in 1990 to 17.2 percent in 2001, all experienced sharp numerical declines this decade and now constitute just 12.9 percent.

Christianity as a whole has declined. The mainline churches are collapsing, leaving evangelicals and megachurch members as the dominant form of non-Catholic Christianity in the US. *shudders*

The percentage of Americans claiming no religion, which jumped from 8.2 in 1990 to 14.2 in 2001, has now increased to 15 percent.
I seem to recall a few years back when atheism was allegedly in sharp decline and a "religious resurgence" was happening and/or nigh. How's that working out for them?

The states with the highest increase in the No Religion category are from the Northeast or Western regions. North Carolina trails the pack with +5% no-religion.

There's something interesting about the 15% no-religion category: a large percentage of them have had little/no contact with religion their entire lives.
•40% say they had no childhood religious initiation ceremony such as a baptism, christening, circumcision, bar mitzvah or naming ceremony.

•55% of those who are married had no religious ceremony.

•66% say they do not expect to have a religious funeral.

A great many of them are what I call "natural atheists" - they didn't have religion to begin with and they don't have it now, unlike deconverts, who all had to climb their way to godlessness, which can sometimes be a arduous process for one raised in an extremely religious household.

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