Study finds a third of young American adults have no religious affiliation

by Joel Abbott · Dec 16th, 2020 12:09 pm
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Last Updated Dec 18th, 2020 at 2:09 pm

A new study released Tuesday found that the largest religious group among young adults in America are those who have no religious identity.

According to the American Enterprise Institute's Survey Center on American Life, 34% of Americans aged 18 to 29 replied "none" when asked about their religious affiliation.

"The growing religious diversity in the U.S. is significantly affecting American culture and religious life," noted the study.

The study also found a large number of shifts in American religious life.

  • Nearly 40% of those married between 2010 and 2014 have a spouse with a different religious background.
  • 41% of Americans believe faith in God is essential to living a moral life, compared to 59% who do not.
  • 42% of Americans know a close friend or family member who has no religious affiliation, a sharp increase from 18% in 2004.
  • 54% of Americans say they have never been invited to church.
  • 87% of Americans still say they believe in God, but only 53% say they are sure in this belief. The groups most likely to fall in the latter category are white Evangelicals (87%) and black Protestants (83%).

The findings support other research conducted on religion in America, such as Pew's 2019 study that showed a 12% decline in those identifying as Christian over the last decade. A 2020 Pew study also showed the majority of Americans no longer believe God is necessary to live a good and moral life.


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