Uncategorized

Religious ‘nones’ decline for first time since 2016, Pew study finds

The number of Americans self-identifying as religiously disaffiliated has decreased for the first time since 2016, according to a new study from Pew Research.

U.S. residents who do not have any religious affiliation are down for the first time in years, according to a new study.

Pew Research published Wednesday a report that shows the number of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated — often referred to as “nones” — declined to 28%.

“The identical results we’ve found in three of the last five years are a sign of stability in the size of this population,” Pew said of the findings. “At the same time, in two of the last five years, we obtained readings above 28%.”


AS THE WORLD HEADS TOWARDS A ‘POST-RELIGIOUS’ LIFE, MANY STRUGGLE TO FIND MEANING: WASH POST COLUMNIST

The findings indicate a break from ongoing trends in Pew reports showing the steady climb of “nones.” 

Religious disaffiliation has previously been observed on a steady climb since Pew began tracking the data in 2007. 

In 2015, the number of “nones” approached 25% before a slight drop in 2016. 

CHRISTIANITY DWINDLES TO MINORITY RELIGION IN ENGLAND, WALES FOR FIRST TIME ON RECORD: ‘NOT A GREAT SURPRISE’

This was followed by a course correction that continued to climb until last year. In 2021, approximately 29% of respondents self-identified as “nones.” By 2022, the number of “nones” peaked at 31%. 

Pew’s new findings suggest a 3% drop through 2023. 

The think tank reports that the single data point is insufficient to determine if religious disaffiliation has plateaued or if it is an anomaly in their methodology.

See also  WATCH: Trump condemns Alexei Navalny's death as 'horrible thing' after facing sharp backlash from Haley

“Although it’s possible that the ‘nones’ have leveled off, it’s also possible that their growth has continued, but at a gradual pace that is difficult to see in the data due to the natural fluctuations that can occur in survey estimates,” Pew wrote of the 2023 findings.

“Pew Research Center will continue monitoring the religious “nones,'” the think tank wrote. “Soon, with more data in hand, we’ll be in a better position to judge whether the 2023 estimate marked a turning point for the “nones” or was just a blip on the way to continued growth.

Religiously disaffiliated respondents did not hold uniform beliefs, nor were they distinctly atheistic or agnostic.

Many “nones” reported a sense of spirituality or belief in God, but did not believe religious affiliation was necessary, beneficial, or the correct decision for themselves.

Share this article:
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter

→ What are your thoughts? ←
Scroll down to leave a comment: