Irreligion in the United States

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Irreligious Americans
Total population

Population in the United States:

Not religious (not spiritual): 18%[1]
Not religious (spiritual): 27%[1]
Unaffiliated: 22.8%[2]
Pew Research Center, 2012, 2015, and 2017
Regions with significant populations
New England region, Western United States, Southern United States, Midwestern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States
Religions
Irreligion
(including atheism, agnosticism, deism, skepticism, freethought/freethinker, secular humanism, ignosticism, apatheism, Nonbeliever, nontheism, rationalism)

Surveys show that Americans without a religious affiliation (which include 'nothing particular', agnostic, atheist) range around 21%[3], 23%[2], 25%[4], 31%[5][6], 34%[7] and 21%[8] of the population, with 'nothing in particulars' making up the majority of this demographic. Since the early 1990s, independent polls have shown the rapid growth of those without a religious affiliation.[9][10][2]

Portraits of American religion and irreligion vary and often show wide variation of results due to numerous polling factors such as the commonality of very low response rates for all polls since the 1990s generating unrepresentative sample sizes, biases in wording or topic, polls categorizing people based on limited, shallow or superficial choices to express their complex religious beliefs and practices, and interviewer/respondent fatigue.[11] Since polls routinely fail to predict outcomes of government elections, it casts doubt on the ability of polls to capture accurate portraits of American religion, which is even more complex and personal.[11]

Religion in the United States (2017 estimate)[12]

  Christianity (69%)
  Judaism (2%)
  Islam (1%)
  Buddhism (1%)
  Hinduism (1%)
  Other religions (1%)
  Unaffiliated (24%)
  Unanswered (3%)

Unaffiliated Americans are sometimes referred to as "Nones".[10][13][14] Though having no religion and not seeking religion they have diverse views: 68% believe in God, 12% are atheists, 17% are agnostics; in terms of self-identification of religiosity 18% consider themselves religious, 37% consider themselves as spiritual but not religious, and 42% considers themselves as neither spiritual nor religious; and 21% pray every day and 20% pray once a month.[10][15][16] According to the 2008 ARIS, the Nones have diverse beliefs: 7% were atheist, 35% were agnostics, 24% were deists, and 27% were theists.[17]

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2014, 22.8% of the American population does not identify with a religion, including atheists (3.1%) and agnostics (4%).[2] According to the 2014 General Social Survey, 21% of the American population does not identify with a religion; furthermore, the number of atheists and agnostics in the U.S. has remained relatively flat in the past 23 years. In 1991, only 2% identified as atheist, and 4% identified as agnostic. In 2014, only 3% identified as atheists, and 5% identified as agnostics.[3]

Self-identification among the Nones is also diverse. For instance, according to Pew study in 2009, only 5% of the total US population did not have a belief in a god. Out of all those without a belief in a god, only 24% self-identified as "atheist", while 15% self-identified as "agnostic", 35% self-identified as "nothing in particular", and 24% identified with a religious tradition.[18] The Nones tend to be more politically liberal and their growth has resulted in some increases in membership of secular organizations. However, the overwhelming majority of those without religion are not joining secular groups or even aligning with secularism.[19]

American self-identification as a religious/spiritual person or degrees of religiousness/spirituality vary widely across surveys depending on the wording they use. Among longitudinal academic surveys such as the General Social Survey which allows for degrees of religious identification: 22.4% are not religious, 22.6% were slightly religious, 38.1% were moderately religious, and 16.4% were very religious in 2016.[20] Other academic survey like the World Values Survey, which used rigid wording: 27.3% were not a religious person, 4.4% were a convinced atheist, and 67% were a religious person in the 2010-2014 wave.[21] According to a 2017 Pew report which asked about religious and spiritual identification: 54% of Americans consider themselves religious, 75% consider themselves spiritual. In combination, 27% is spiritual but not religious and 18% is neither spiritual not religious. Those who do not consider themselves as 'religious' may often consider themselves "affiliated" with a major religion and/or "spiritual".[1]

Some of the underlying factors in the increases in people identifying as "Nones" seem to not be that significant numbers of people are dropping religion, but rather that, in recent times, it has become more socially acceptable for younger and older generations to identify as a "None" than in previous decades, when identifying as having no religion carried negative stigmas. With young people usually having lower religious observance than older people and them feeling more comfortable identifying as a "None", generational replacement factors could play a role in the increment.[22] Other possible driving factors may be just broader general cultural changes in the American way of life. The growth of the internet and social media has altered the sense of community and spirituality and the growth of self-focused citizenry, as opposed to community-focused citizenry, has broadly lead to less civic involvement and less loyalty to many public institutions.[23] Other possible driving forces could be political backlash. Young adults, in particular, have turned away from organized religion because they perceive it as deeply entangled with conservative politics and some seek to distance themselves from polarized systems.[24] Others have suggested that delays in marriage, settling down, and having children among younger people reduces or delays the number and commitment of people participating in traditional religions or religious activities.[25]

Younger generations as a whole have lost trust and belief in numerous institutions along with religion. For instance, Millennials, which make up about 1/3 the "Nones" demographic, tend to have less belief and trust in institutions such as the labor market, the economy, government and politics, marriage, the media, along with churches; than previous generations.[26]

Studies on irreligion[edit]

A comprehensive study by David Campbell and Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious Americans are three to four times more likely than their nonreligious counterparts to "work on community projects, belong to voluntary associations, attend public meetings, vote in local elections, attend protest demonstrations and political rallies, and donate time and money to causes – including secular ones." However, religious Americans who regularly attend religious services but have no friends there do not have higher levels of civic participation, while nonreligious Americans who have religious friends do get more involved. "It's not faith" that accounts for civic activism, Putnam said, "It's faith communities." The authors said the same effect might be found in secular organizations that are close-knit with shared morals and values.[27][28] The study also found that religious Americans are less tolerant than secular Americans of free speech, dissent, and several other measures of tolerance.[28]

Being less religious is moderately correlated with increased life expectancy and decreased teenage pregnancy.[29]

Alan Cooperman of Pew Research Center notes that nonreligious Americans commonly grew up in a religious tradition and consciously lost it "after a great deal of reflection and study".[30] As a result, atheists and agnostics are more knowledgeable about religion than those who identify with most major religions, according to a 2010 Pew survey.[31][32]

The American public at large has a positive view of nonreligious people but a negative view of atheists. One "extensive study of how Americans view various minority groups" found that "atheists are at the top of the list of groups that Americans find problematic."[33] A Religion and Public Life Survey (2002) found that 54 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of atheists,[34] but the favorability of people who are "not religious" is 52.2%, with a net difference of 23.8%.[35]

Inaccuracy of identification and polling[edit]

The reliability of any poll results, in general and specifically on religion, can be questioned due numerous factors such the commonality of very low response rates for polls since the 1990s, the inability of polls to predict election outcomes signifying that their numbers may not reflect the actual views of the population, biases in wording or topic, polls categorize people based on their limited choices, polls imply generalizations, polls have shallow or superficial choices for people expressing their complex religious beliefs and practices, and interviewer and respondent fatigue.[36]

The measurement of religiosity is hampered by the difficulties involved in defining what is meant by the term and the variables it entails. Numerous studies have explored the different components of religiosity, with most finding some distinction between religious beliefs/doctrine, religious practice, and spirituality. When religiosity is measured, it is important to specify which aspects of religiosity are referred to.[37]

The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) found a difference between how people identify and what people believe. While only 0.7% of U.S. adults identified as atheist, 2.3% said there is no such thing as a god. Only 0.9% identified as agnostic, but 10.0% said there is either no way to know if a god exists or they weren't sure. Another 12.1% said there is a higher power but no personal god. In total, only 15.0% identified as Nones or No Religion, but 24.4% did not believe in the traditional concept of a personal god. The conductors of the study concluded, "The historic reluctance of Americans to self-identify in this manner or use these terms seems to have diminished. Nevertheless ... the level of under-reporting of these theological labels is still significant ... many millions do not subscribe fully to the theology of the groups with which they identify."[9]

Similarly, the 2012 Pew study reported that 23% of Americans who affiliated with a religion were not religious. The religiously affiliated were 79% of the population, and the unaffiliated were 19.6%, including 6% "atheist" or "agnostic".[38][39]

Existing nationally representative polls such as Pew and Gallup indicate atheist prevalence is relatively low (3% -11%) in the United States, however, in one study using validated unmatched counting interviewing technique, in which people did not need to "admit" explicitly to a certain position, the number of people who did not believe in a god was indirectly estimated to be 26% overall. The authors noted that 26% of Baby boomers and millennials did not have belief in a god.[40][41]

According to a Pew study in 2009, only 5% of the total US population did not have a belief in a god. Out of all those without a belief in a god, only 24% self-identified as "atheist", while 15% self-identified as "agnostic", 35% self-identified as "nothing in particular", and 24% identified with a religious tradition.[42]

According to a Gallup's editor in chief, Frank Newport, numbers on surveys may not be the whole story. In his view, declines in religious affiliation or declines in belief in God on surveys may not actually reflect an actual decline in these beliefs among people since increased honesty on spiritual matters to interviewers may merely be increasing since people may feel more comfortable today expressing viewpoints that were previously deviant.[43]

Demographics[edit]

A 2007 Barna group poll found that about 20 million people say they are atheist, have no religious faith, or are agnostic, with 5 million of that number claiming to be atheists. The study also found that "[t]hey tend to be more educated, more affluent and more likely to be male and unmarried than those with active faith" and that "only 6 percent of people over 60 have no faith in God, and one in four adults ages 18 to 22 describe themselves as having no faith."[44]

A 2008 Gallup survey reported that religion is not an important part of daily life for 34% of Americans.[45] In May of that year, a Gallup poll asking the question "Which of the following statements comes closest to your belief about God: you believe in God, you don't believe in God but you do believe in a universal spirit or higher power, or you don't believe in either?" showed that, nationally, 78% believed in God, 15% in "a universal spirit or higher power", 6% answering "neither", and 1% unsure. The poll also highlighted the regional differences, with residents in the Western states answering 59%, 29%, and 10% respectively, compared to the residents in the Southern states that answered 86%, 10%, and 3%.[46] Several of the western states have been informally nicknamed Unchurched Belt, contrasting with the Bible Belt in the southern states.

A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center reported that, of the U.S. adult population, 19.6% had no religious affiliation and an additional 16% identified as "neither spiritual nor religious".[47][39] Furthermore, atheists made up 2.4% and agnostics made up 3.3% of the US population.[10] It also notes that a third of adults under the age of 30 are religiously unaffiliated. However, out of the religiously unaffiliated demographic: the majority describe themselves either as a religious (18%) or as spiritual but not religious (37%) while a significant minority (42%) considers themselves neither spiritual or religious.[10] Additionally, out of the unaffiliated: 68% believe in God, 12% are atheists, 17% are agnostics and overall 21% of the religiously unaffiliated pray every day.[10]

The Pew Religious Landscape survey reported that as of 2014, 22.8% of the U.S. population is religiously unaffiliated, atheists made up 3.1% and agnostics made up 4% of the U.S. population.[2] The 2014 General Social Survey reported that 21% of Americans had no religion with 3% being atheist and 5% being agnostic.[3]

Trends[edit]

Religion is highly variable between people, and it touches not only their intellectual position, but also their internal and external identity. Any assessment will be impacted by a large number of factors. One common way of assessing people's religiousness, spirituality, and affiliations is asking them to directly self-identify in interviews and polls.

Religiousness[edit]

According to General Social Survey data, which allowed for degrees of religiosity to be expressed, 22.4% of Americans consider themselves not religious, 22.6% were slightly religious, 38.1% were moderately religious, and 16.4% were very religious. Irreligiousness is highest among young healthy unmarried educated white males.[20] Overall, approximately 80% of Americans described themselves as both religious and spiritual to varying degrees.[48]

According to the 2010–2014 wave of the World Values Survey, 67% of Americans considered themselves as a religious person, 27.3% were not a religious person, and 4.4% were a convinced atheist. In the 2005–2009 wave: 69% of Americans considered themselves as a religious person, 23.4% were not a religious person, and 3.4% were a convinced atheist [49]

According to Pew's study on religious and spiritual identity, the number of Americans who consider themselves religious (irrespective of whether they are affiliated or spiritual, or believe in one or more Gods or a higher power) had dropped from 65% in 2012 to 54% in 2017. 27% were spiritual but not religious and another 18% were neither.[1]

According to the Win-Gallup International polls, those who self-identified as religious person were at 73% in 2005, 60% in 2012 and 56% in 2015 and in 2017.[50][51][52][53] In the 2012 poll, 30% were not a religious person and an additional 5% identified as an atheist.[54] In the 2017 poll, 32% were not a religious person and an additional 7% identified as atheist.[55] However, researchers have advised caution with WIN/Gallup International figures since other surveys which have used the same wording for decades and have bigger sample sizes, have consistently reached higher religiosity figures.[56]

It is worth noting that about half of "not religious" people do actually identify/affiliate themselves with established religious groups and most believe in God.[1][57]

Religious by self-identification Yes/(No or Atheist)
Win/Gallup Int Pew WVS
2005 73% 69%
2012 60% 65% 67%
2014 56% 67%
2017 56% 54%

Spirituality[edit]

Historically, the words religious and spiritual have been used synonymously to describe all the various aspects of the concept of religion.[58] However, in contemporary usage, many people use the term spirituality to refer to the interior life of the individual and religion to mean the exterior life of groups such as communities and/or organizations. For some, spirituality can become distinct in that it marks a separation from group affiliation and focuses more people's private beliefs and for others it is interchangeable with religious things.[58] Both spirituality and religion have similarities and have 4 basic components: belief in a reality greater than the individual, desire to connect with the greater reality, promotion of rituals for that connection, and an expectation of particular behaviors (moral or not), that reflect that connection.[58]

According to Pew's study on religious and spiritual identity, the number of people who consider themselves as spiritual (without consideration of whether they are affiliated or religious) was 78% in 2012 and 75% in 2017.[1]

According to Mark Chaves' review of General Social Survey data, of people who were not religious, 88% considered themselves as at least moderately spiritual.[48]

Affiliation[edit]

In 1776, only 17% of the US population was religiously involved in America and by 2000, the number of people who were religiously involved had actually increased gradually to 62%.[59]

According to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) report, in 1990 only 8.2% of the US population identified as "no religion", atheists were not detectable, and agnostics made up 0.7% of the US population. By 2001, 14.1% of the US population identified as "no religion", atheists made up 0.4% and agnostics made up 0.5% of the US population. By 2008, 15% of the US population identified as "no religion", atheists made up 0.7% and agnostics made up 0.9% of the US population.[9]

According to the 2014 General Social Survey the percentages of the US population that identified as no religion were 21% in 2014, 20% in 2012, just 14% in 2000, and only 8 percent in 1990. Furthermore, the number of atheists and agnostics in the US has remained relatively flat in the past 23 years since in 1991 only 2% identified as atheist and 4% identified as agnostic while in 2014 only 3% identified as atheist and 5% identified as agnostic.[3]

According to the 2008 Pew Religious Landscape report, as 2007, 16.1% of the US population identified as "no religion", atheists made up 1.6% and agnostics made up 2.4% of the US population.[60]

According to a 2012 Pew Report on the "Nones", 19.6% of the population identified as "no religion", atheists made up 2.4% and agnostics made up 3.3% of the US population.[10]

The Pew Religious Landscape survey reported that as of 2014, 22.8% of the American population is religiously unaffiliated, atheists made up 3.1% and agnostics made up 4% of the US population.[2]

The General Social Survey reported that as of 2014, 21% of the American population does not identify with a religion, including 3% identifying as atheists and 5% identifying as agnostics (5%).[3]

A 2010 Pew Research Center study comparing Millennials to other generations showed that of those between 18–29 years old, only 3% self-identified as "atheists" and only 4% as "agnostics". Overall, 25% of Millennials were "Nones" and 74% were religiously affiliated.[61] Though Millennials are less religious than previous generations at the same age frame, they are also much less engaged in many social institutions in general than previous generations.[39]

Several groups promoting secularist beliefs or opposing religious faith altogether – including the Freedom From Religion Foundation, American Atheists, Camp Quest, and the Rational Response Squad – have witnessed large increases in membership numbers in recent years, and the number of secularist student organizations at American colleges and universities increased during the 2000s (decade).[44][62] However, the growth of atheist groups is very limited and will possibly shrink due to atheists normally being non-joiners and some atheist organizations being too "religious" like.[19] Phil Zuckerman notes that the overwhelming majority of the nonreligious in the US are not identifying with secular movements or secularism or secular beliefs and instead live basic mundane lives without much thought of the secular.[19] As such, the overwhelming majority on the nonreligious do not join secular groups. Only a very small minority of the nonreligious, around 1% to 2%, actually join these kinds of groups.[19]

According to the third American Family Survey from 2017, 34% of the US population identify as 'nones' ('Atheists', 'agnostics', 'nothing in particular'), up from 32% in 2016.[63][64]

According to the American Values Atlas from PPRI, 24% of the US Population is unaffiliated with a religion.[65]

Tables[edit]

"Nones" by US State (2014)

Various beliefs[edit]

Various beliefs and practices of the Nones in 2012.

Traits % Nones (2012)[15][16]
Believe in God 68%
Consider themselves religious 18%
Consider themselves spiritual but not religious 37%
Consider themselves as neither spiritual nor religious 42%
Pray every day 21%
Pray once a month 21%

Irreligion by state[edit]

Rank Jurisdiction % "Nones" (2007)[2] % "Nones" (2014)[2]
United States 16% 23%
01  Vermont 34% 37%
02  New Hampshire 29% 36%
03  Washington 23% 32%
04  Massachusetts 20% 32%
05  Alaska 27% 31%
06  Maine 25% 31%
07  Oregon 27% 31%
08  Montana 21% 30%
09  Colorado 25% 29%
10  Nevada 21% 28%
11  Idaho 18% 27%
12  California 21% 27%
13  Arizona 22% 27%
14  New York 17% 27%
15  Wyoming 28% 26%
16  Hawaii 18% 26%
17  Indiana 16% 26%
18  Wisconsin 16% 25%
19  District of Columbia 18% 24%
20  Michigan 17% 24%
21  Florida 16% 24%
22  Delaware 19% 23%
23  Connecticut 20% 23%
24  Maryland 16% 23%
25  Ohio 17% 22%
26  Utah 16% 22%
27  Illinois 15% 22%
28  Kentucky 12% 22%
29  New Mexico 21% 21%
30  Iowa 15% 21%
31  Pennsylvania 13% 21%
32  Rhode Island 23% 20%
33  Nebraska 16% 20%
34  Virginia 18% 20%
35  Missouri 16% 20%
36  Minnesota 13% 20%
37  Kansas 14% 20%
38  North Carolina 12% 20%
39   North Dakota 11% 20%
40  South Carolina 10% 19%
41  New Jersey 12% 18%
42  West Virginia 19% 18%
43  South Dakota 12% 18%
44  Texas 12% 18%
45  Oklahoma 12% 18%
46 Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia 13% 18%
47  Arkansas 13% 18%
48  Tennessee 12% 14%
49  Mississippi 6% 14%
50  Louisiana 8% 13%
51  Alabama 8% 12%

Irreligion by territory[edit]

Territories of the United States with percentage of population claiming no religion in 2010.

Territories % Nones (2010)
 U.S. Virgin Islands 3.8%[66] or 3.7%[67]
 Puerto Rico 1.9%[68]
 Guam 1.7%[69]
 Northern Mariana Islands 1%[70][71]
 American Samoa 0.7%[72]

Irreligion by region[edit]

Regions of the United States ranked by percentage of population claiming no religion in 2014.

Region % Nones (2014)[2]
West 28%
Northeast 25%
Midwest 22%
South 19%

Irreligion demographics[edit]

Demographics of the religiously unaffiliated in 2012 (as fraction of the named groups).

Race % Unaffiliated[73]
White 20%
Hispanic 16%
Black 15%
Gender % Unaffiliated
Men 23%
Women 17%
Generation % Unaffiliated
Younger Millennials 34%
Older Millennials 30%
GenXers 21%
Boomers 15%
Silent 9%
Greatest 5%

In politics[edit]

According to exit polls in the 2008 presidential election, 71% of non-religious whites voted for Democratic candidate Barack Obama while 74% of white Evangelical Christians voted for Republican candidate John McCain. This can be compared with the 43–55% share of white votes overall.[74] More than six-in-ten religiously unaffiliated registered voters are Democrats (39%) or lean toward the Democratic Party (24%). They are about twice as likely to describe themselves as political liberals than as conservatives, and solid majorities support legal abortion (72%) and same-sex marriage (73%). In the last five years, the unaffiliated have risen from 17% to 24% of all registered voters who are Democrats or lean Democratic.[10] According to a Pew Research exit poll 70% of those who were religiously unaffiliated voted for Barack Obama.

In January 2007, California Congressman Pete Stark became the first openly atheist member of Congress. He described himself as "a Unitarian who does not believe in a Supreme Being." In January 2013, Kyrsten Sinema became the first openly non-theist Congresswoman, representing the State of Arizona. Although she "believes the terms 'nontheist', 'atheist' or 'nonbeliever' are not befitting of her life's work or personal character," she does believe in a secular approach to government. Her unbelief "was not used to slander her as un-American or suggest that she was unfit for office."[75]

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to acknowledge "non-believers" in his inaugural address,[76] although other presidents such as George W. Bush[77] have previously acknowledged non-believers in different speeches.

The 2012 study by the Pew Research Center reported that unaffiliated Americans say by a margin of 39% that churches should keep out of political matters. Affiliated Americans agree by a margin of 7%.[38]

Irreligious elected officials[edit]

Agnostic elected officials[edit]

Former United States senators[edit]
Former state governors[edit]

Atheist elected officials[edit]

Former United States senators[edit]
Former United States representatives[edit]
Former state governors[edit]
Current state legislators[edit]
Former state legislators[edit]
Former mayors[edit]
Current city council members[edit]
Former city council members[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "More Americans now say they're spiritual but not religious". Pew Research Center. 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2017-12-16. In addition to those who say they are spiritual but not religious (27%), 48% say they are both religious and spiritual, while 6% say they are religious but not spiritual. Another 18% answer both questions negatively, saying they are neither religious nor spiritual...Who makes up this rapidly rising, “spiritual but not religious” segment of American adults? While many of them (37%) are religiously unaffiliated (describing their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular”), most actually do identify with a religious group, including 35% who say they are Protestant, 14% who are Catholic and 11% who are members of others faiths, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "America's Changing Religious Landscape". Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life. May 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Hout, Michael; Smith, Tom (March 2015). "Fewer Americans Affiliate with Organized Religions, Belief and Practice Unchanged: Key Findings from the 2014 General Social Survey" (PDF). General Social Survey. NORC. The percentage answering 'no religion' was 21 percent in 2014, 20 percent in 2012, just 14 percent as recently as 2000, and only 8 percent in 1990." & "In 2014, 3 percent of Americans did not believe in God and 5 percent expressed an agnostic view; the comparable percentages were 2 percent and 4 percent in 1991. More people believed in a 'higher power' in 2014 (13%) than in 1991 (7%). 
  4. ^ "Exodus: Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They're Unlikely to Come Back | PRRI". PRRI. 2016. 
  5. ^ "Are All Nones the Same? Exploring the Political Differences Between Atheists and Agnostics". Religion in Public. 2017-06-08. 
  6. ^ Stephen, Ansolabehere,; F., Schaffner, Brian (2018-02-10). "CCES Common Content, 2016". doi:10.7910/dvn/gdf6z0. 
  7. ^ "DN American Family Survey 2016". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 2018-06-01. 
  8. ^ News, A. B. C. (2018-05-10). "Protestants decline, more have no religion in a sharply shifting religious landscape". ABC News. Retrieved 2018-06-01. 
  9. ^ a b c Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar, "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-08. , March 2009, American Religious Identification Survey [ARIS 2008], Trinity College.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "'Nones' on the Rise". Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life. October 9, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Wuthnow, Robert. "8. Taking Stock". Inventing American Religion: Polls Surveys, and the Tenuous Quest for a Nation's Faith. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190258900. 
  12. ^ Cox, Daniel; Jones, Ribert P. (9 June 2017). America’s Changing Religious Identity. 2016 American Values Atlas. Public Religion Research Institute. 
  13. ^ "American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population" (PDF). American Religious Identification Survey. 2008. 
  14. ^ Hunter, Jeannine (2012-10-09). "Who are the 'Nones'™?". Washington Post. 
  15. ^ a b "Religion and the Unaffiliated". "Nones" on the Rise. Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life. October 9, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Most of the Religiously Unaffiliated Still Keep Belief in God". Pew Research Center. November 15, 2012. 
  17. ^ Kosmin, Barry; Keysar, Ariela (2009). "American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population" (PDF). Trinity Colloge. 
  18. ^ "Not All Nonbelievers Call Themselves Atheists | Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project". Pewforum.org. 2009-04-02. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  19. ^ a b c d Zuckerman, Phil (2014). Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions. [S.l.]: Penguin Books. ISBN 1594205086. 
  20. ^ a b "GSS Data Explorer | NORC at the University of Chicago". gssdataexplorer.norc.org. Retrieved 2018-05-20. 
  21. ^ "World Values Survey Database". World Values Survey. World Values Survey Association. Retrieved 27 March 2018. 
  22. ^ Gregory, Smith (September 14, 2016). "The factors driving the growth of religious 'nones' in the U.S." Pew Research Center. 
  23. ^ Mercadante, Linda A. (2014). Belief without Borders : Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 29-30. ISBN 9780199931002. 
  24. ^ Hout, Michael; Fischer, Claude S. (April 2002). "Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Politics and Generations". American Sociological Review. 67 (2): 165. doi:10.2307/3088891. 
  25. ^ Wuthnow, Robert (2007). After the Baby Boomers : How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings are Shaping the Future of American religion. Princeton University Press. p. 51-70. ISBN 0691127654. 
  26. ^ Masci, David (January 8, 2016). "Q&A: Why Millennials are less religious than older Americans". Pew Research Center. 
  27. ^ Burke, Daniel (May 14, 2009). "Religious citizens more involved – and more scarce?". USA Today. Retrieved Jun 1, 2014. The scholars say their studies found that religious people are three to four times more likely to be involved in their community. They are more apt than nonreligious Americans to work on community projects, belong to voluntary associations, attend public meetings, vote in local elections, attend protest demonstrations and political rallies, and donate time and money to causes including secular ones. At the same time, Putnam and Campbell say their data show that religious people are just "nicer": they carry packages for people, don't mind folks cutting ahead in line and give money to panhandlers. 
  28. ^ a b Campbell, David; Putnam, Robert (14 November 2010). "Religious people are 'better neighbors'". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  29. ^ "The Importance of Religion". 21 February 2009. Daily Kos. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  30. ^ Treharne, Trevor (2012). How to Prove God Does Not Exist: The Complete Guide to Validating Atheism. p. 198. 
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