Friday, February 29, 2008

Dissatisfaction with Religion Growing

According to the latest opinion poll from Pew Research, dissatisfaction with religion seems to be growing in the US:

More than one-quarter (28%) of American adults have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion -- or no religion at all.... In addition, about 44% of adults have either switched religious affiliation, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being affiliated with a particular faith, or dropped any connection to a specific religious tradition altogether.

One of the most interesting aspects of the survey is the fact that young people are less likely to be religious than older people.

The survey finds that the number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (16.1%) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children. Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion.
There's a couple of takeaways from this survey. While the US is still far more religious than most of the other western democracies, especially those in Europe, we may be starting to see a turning point. As the population ages, it's clear that religion will become less of a factor in public life. Young people today are less likely to be religious, and less likely as they grow up to pass that onto their children.

With all the disturbing news about science education and creationism, religion in politics and the intolerance of many of the more fundamentalist christian churches here in the US, it's refreshing to note that time is on our side.

15 comments:

Rainedaye said...

I seen this data as well, but I took it as religion was actually slightly declining?
"The survey finds that the number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (16.1%) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children."
Of course these numbers include "religious unaffiliated" as well as "secular unaffiliated".

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