Bucking previous trends, survey finds growth of the religiously unaffiliated slowing

Sounds like somewhat discouraging news to me. Positive in that the percentage has grown - but not good that the growth is slowing.



By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – After years of marked growth, the size of Americans who identify with no religion slowed in 2012, according to a study released Thursday.

Since 2008, the percentage of Americans who identify as religious "nones" has grown from 14.6% to 17.8% in 2012, according to the Gallup survey. That number, which grew nearly one percentage point every year from 2008 to 2011, grew only 0.3% last year – from 17.5% in 2011 to 17.8% in 2012 – making it the smallest increase over the past five years.

This study contrasts with headlines from previous studies on religious “nones,” including a 2012 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that found the group was the fastest growing "religious" group in America and that one in five Americans now identify with no religion.

“Although this ‘rise of the nones’ has increased dramatically over recent decades, the rate of increase slowed last year, suggesting the possibility that there may be a leveling off in this measure in the years ahead,” reports the Gallup study, which is made up of more than 350,000 interviews.

Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup, says these results suggest “that religion may be maintaining itself or even increasing in the years ahead.”

“Our current ability to look at it over five years with these big surveys suggests the possibility that the growth [of the nones] may not be inexorable,” Newport says.

Read the rest here.

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Replies to This Discussion

I just read some of your blog post. Well done sir.

I love your blog post! Wonderful!

Sorry, my Reply button still is not working.
Humble Pie, a great idea, write our stories and share them. By reading them, finding common themes, revealing how religion affected our thinking and decision making. That would be very revealing, to old and new non-believers, and maybe to those having doubts about the existence of god.

Actually, now that you word it that way, it reminds me a little of this book, which was one of the very first I read about atheism specifically.  That should give you a rough idea of how short a time I have been an atheist!





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