Pew report finds older US Christians being quickly replaced by young ‘nones’

The latest report from Pew Research, released Oct. 17, shows a dramatic decline in American religious habits over the course of a decade.

Highlights from the report are available in this article from Religion News Service:

  • Two-thirds (65%) of Americans describe themselves as Christians, down from 77% in 2009.
  • The number of Americans who say they have no religion — sometimes called nones — has risen to 26%, up from 17% a decade ago.
  • Protestants now make up less than half of all U.S. adults — or 43% (down from 51% a decade ago).
  • Catholics make up 20% (down from 23% in 2009).

To put it most graphically, 84% of the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945) identify as Christian, compared with 49% of the millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1996).

“The rate at which Christians are declining is very striking,” said Greg Smith, associate director of research at Pew. “And the share of Americans who have no religion is growing very rapidly, which is just as striking.”

Read more here.

Photo is interior of Church of St Thomas the Apostle, Killinghall, North Yorkshire/Creative Commons license.