Study: Unaffiliated Americans are the only growing religious group

 By Yonat Shimron - Posted at Ministry Watch:

Published March 28, 2024

Teachings about LGBTQ issues and clergy sex abuse among top reasons respondents left childhood religion

(RNS) — Religious churn has been a key fixture of U.S. religion for a long time, but a new survey of changes in American religion finds that motion is not so much a swirling but a one-way stream heading out.

A new PRRI survey shows that religiously unaffiliated Americans are the only group that has seen steady growth over the past decade — from 21% of all Americans in 2013 to 26% in 2023.

These unaffiliated Americans — many of whom abandoned their childhood faith — are not looking for a spiritual home. Only 9% of people in this group said they were “looking for a religion that’s right for me.” Most may be unaffiliated for life. Only 3% of Americans who grew up without a religious identity said they joined a religion.

Even those who remain religious — the vast majority of Americans, about 67% of whom are Christian — say religion is less important in their lives.

Only 53% of Americans say religion is the most important or one among many important things in their lives in 2023, notably lower than in 2013 when 72% of Americans reported that religion was the most important or one among many important things in their life.


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