News / USA

Study Shows Shift in US Religious Attitudes

VOA News
A new study shows a significant increase in the number of Americans who say they are not affiliated with a particular religion.
The findings of the Pew Research Center indicate nearly 20 percent of all Americans now consider themselves agnostics, atheists or "nothing in particular" when it comes to religious affiliation, a rise from 15 percent five years ago.
Researchers say the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans is even higher among younger adults, accounting for 32 percent of those under the age of 30.
The study, released Tuesday, could have implications for the presidential race between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, as their campaigns seek to strengthen their appeal to voters ahead of the November election.
The study found almost a quarter of registered voters who identify themselves either as Democrats or Democratic "leaning" say they are religiously unaffiliated, a rise from 17 percent five years ago.
Among Republican and Republican "leaning" voters, the percentage of those describing themselves as religiously unaffiliated grew from 9 to 11 percent over the past five years.
Researchers say the factors behind the increased number of religiously unaffiliated people in America, historically a deeply religious nation, include "generational replacement" — the gradual replacement of older generations by newer ones — and a rise in the number of Americans raised without a religious affiliation.
In spite of the increase, researchers say not all of the religiously unaffiliated are strictly secular, with many saying they do believe in God, pray daily or consider themselves "spiritual but not religious."
The findings are based on several broad surveys conducted by Pew and the PBS television series "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly."

You May Like

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

UN Warns Air Pollution in Asia Pacific Has Rising Cost

Globally some seven million people a year die prematurely due to indoor and outdoor pollution with about 70 per cent of those deaths in region

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 11, 2012 6:21 AM
Too bad for America. In truth of the expectation of the antichrist rising from here, religious leaning of America will even go down at a faster rate than 5yrs. But it is shameful that while leaning toward innocuous religions wanes, the growth of aggressive and destructive "peaceful" ones escalate. It is a failure of the older generation of Americans to give direction to the younger ones. The end result is chaos! No one will be surprised soon to see America remove 'IN GOD WE TRUST' from its constitution.

Less surprising too if America wakes up one morning to declare it illegal to believe in God. It did happen in the medieval and also in USA's parent country England. It's the practice to hound Christians in all of Asia, Middle East and Europe. If it rises again, it'll be history repeating itself. But worse still, it will be the end of the American Empire. It's just the work of the antichrist to use America to achieve its end, and America's acceptance of the destructive role, but everything depends on the same God that America rejects: He will bring the ancient serpent to subjection in due time for the benefit of humanity, not just for America. Righteousness exalts a nation, sin is a reproach to a nation that rejects God.

by: Jeff Kuryk from: Western Canada
October 10, 2012 11:40 AM
Find out what social scientists discovered by exploring the concept of meaning by checking out the YouTube video, "What is the Meaning of Life 101?"

by: Michael from: USA
October 10, 2012 2:53 AM
Giving up a belief based on the belief that such belief is an illusionism is not to say anything about virtue ethics, so this data cannot mean widespread immorality

by: Zado from: AZ
October 09, 2012 3:08 PM
Well, it looks like egonovism is on the rise.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs