Religious ‘Nones’ Now Statistically Equal With Number of Evangelicals in the U.S.

The number of religious “nones” in the United States are now statistically equal than the number of evangelicals, according to a political scientist who analyzed data from the recently released 2018 General Social Survey.

The GSS, a biennial project run by NORC (National Opinion Research Center) at the University of Chicago, was released this week and showed how America’s religious landscape continues to change.

Ryan Burge, a political science researcher at Eastern Illinois University, analyzed data from the survey. He used a Reltrad (religious tradition) classification code to compensate for the oversample of African Americans in earlier waves of data.

According to Burge’s data, 23.1 percent of those surveyed were people of “no religion,” while those who are evangelical — of any race, not just white — represented about 22.8 percent of the tally.

Despite a tiny resurgence in the 2018 data, white mainline protestants, which were once the largest U.S. religious demographic in the 1970s, were at just 10.8 percent of the tally, a far cry from 1975 when they were over 30 percent.

Catholic respondents fell slightly to 23 percent but continue to be one of the largest two religious demographics in the U.S.

The study comes as there has been a rise over the last decade-plus in the number of religiously unaffiliated individuals in the United States. According to Burge’s data, the religious “nones” comprised just 5 percent when the GSS was first conducted in 1972. Today, religious “nones” are just under a quarter of the GSS data.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith