Pew Research Key Findings

Exponential

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center’s latest findings, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009. Here are other key findings from this recent report:

Key Findings:

The percent of people identifying as Christian in the U.S. has declined over the last decade.

  • 65% of adults describe themselves as Christian, down from 77% in 2009
  • 43% of adults identify as Protestant, down from 51% in 2009
  • 20% of adults identify as Catholic, down from 23% in 2009
  • 26% identify as atheist, agnostic, or “nones”, up from 17% in 2009

This decline in Christian affiliation crosses all demographics (gender, generations, race, education, geography, political affiliation), but is particularly pronounced in the following:

  • The number of Millennials identifying as Christian has declined by 16 percentage points
  • In the Northeast, Christian affiliation has declined the most, at 15 percentage points
  • Democrats affiliating as Christians have declined by 17 percentage points

Church Attendance among Christians has remained stable

  • 62% of those identifying as Christian attending service at least once or twice per month.
  • However, due to the decline in Christianity’s share of the population, a lower percent of the total U.S. population attends church regularly.
  • Today, 17% of Americans say they never attend religious services, compared to 11% in 2009.

If you’re like us, these numbers greatly concern you. 

That’s why we want to invite you to an insightful, FREE Webinar with Gregory Smith, Associate Director of Research at The Pew Research Center. Join us November 21 as we look deeper at this recent research report with discussion led by Exponential CEO Todd Wilson and Leadership Network CEO Ron Edmondson. Together we’ll learn what the latest research means for you and your church. Learn more.