But Protestant population is shrinking as “unbranded” religion grows
PRINCETON, NJ — Sixty-nine percent of American adults are very or moderately religious, based on self-reports of the importance of religion in their daily lives and attendance at religious services. Within that group, 40% are very religious, meaning that they attend religious services regularly and they say religion is important in their daily lives
These data are based on more than 320,000 interviews conducted by Gallup between Jan. 2 and Nov. 30 of this year. Similar data going back to 2008 form the basis of the new book God Is Alive and Well: The Future of Religion in America.
(The wording of the two questions used to compile the measure of religiousness are available on page 2.)
Religiousness is distributed quite unequally across various subgroups and segments of the U.S. population. Key findings further discussed in the book include:
- Religiousness increases with age, albeit not in a smooth path but rather in stages. Americans are least religious at age 23 and most religious at age 80.
- Women are significantly more religious than men, at all ages and within all race and ethnic groups. This is not an American anomaly; women are more religious than men in all but a small number of the more than 100 countries around the world in which Gallup has measured religion.
- Blacks are more religious than any other race or ethnic group in America.
- Mormons are the most religious of any specific religious group in America; Jews are the least.
- Religiousness is highest in Southern states, including Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.
- Religiousness is lowest in states located in the two northern corners of the country, including Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.
- Upscale Americans are less religious than those with lower levels of education and income, but better-off Americans attend religious services just as often.
- There are substantial political differences in religiousness. Republicans are significantly more likely to say that religion is important in their daily lives and more likely to attend religious services regularly than either independents or Democrats.
- Blacks are a major exception to the significant correlation between religiousness and Republicanism. They are at the same time the most religious and the most Democratic race and ethnic group in America.
Written By: Gallupcontinue to source article at gallup.com