Disaffection with religion is growing rapidly among Americans, with nearly one-third of the population (29%) declaring to have “no religion”—up 13 points from 2007.
The figure appears this Tuesday in the latest survey of the PEW Research Center, one of the most prestigious polling institutes in the U.S., which considers in its introduction that “the secularization trends detected in the 21st century show no signs of slowing down.”
Among those with “no religion,” Pew includes those who identify themselves in three categories: atheists, agnostics, or “nothing in particular”, and their percentage is now almost one for every two who identify themselves as Christians (63% of the population), when in 2007 it was only one to five.
The decline of Christianity is not even for all faiths: in fact, it is much more pronounced among Protestants, who have lost 12 percentage points among the population (from 52% to 40% between 2007 and today) than among Catholics, who have only lost 3 percentage points (from 24% to 21%, with a rebound since 2019 in the case of the latter.
The percentage of Americans who consider religion “very important” has not stopped falling since 2007, when it accounted for 56 %, while now it is 41 %, with a sharp decline in the last two years, coinciding with the coronavirus pandemic, although the survey has not linked the two (pandemic and religion).
As for attendance at religious services in general, only 31% of the population admits to doing so “once a month or more, while 68% say they only attend “a few times a year or less.”
But in this regard, there are wide variations by faith: among Catholics, 35% go to church at least monthly, while among Protestants there is a big difference between black evangelicals (73%) and white non-evangelicals (28%).
The report focuses mainly on the decline of Christianity because, it warns, there was no significant percentage of other religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism or Judaism among those surveyed.