Pew Research says a Third of U.S. adults identify as ‘nones’ as Protestants decrease

WASHINGTON (BP) –Nearly 30 percent of U.S. adults are religiously unaffiliated, 10 percentage points higher than a decade ago, Pew Research Center said in its latest survey.

Protestants suffered the greatest decrease in affiliation, as Catholics held steady.

“The secularizing shifts evident in American society so far in the 21st century show no signs of slowing,” Pew said in releasing the findings Dec. 14. “The recent declines within Christianity are concentrated among Protestants.”

Specifically, 29 percent of U.S. adults identify as religiously unaffiliated, or “nones,” including atheists, agnostics or those who consider themselves “nothing in particular” religiously. Nones are up 6 points from five years ago.

Fewer Americans consider themselves Christian – whether Protestant, Catholic, Church of Latter-day Saints or Orthodox Christian – accounting for 63 percent of the population this year, down from 75 percent as recently as a decade ago. Christians outpace nones at a ratio just over two-to-one, a substantial decrease from the five-to-one ratio in 2007 when Pew began surveying religious identity.

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Source: Baptist Press