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Mormons surge, Catholics decline in US; half of Americans are nonadherents

May 03, 2012

The number of Mormons in the United States increased by nearly 50% between 2000 and 2010, while the number of “active members” of the Catholic Church declined by 5%, according to the latest decennial religious census published by the Association of Religion Data Archives.

The census--which allows readers to search for data at the state and county levels--found that only 48.8% of Americans are religious adherents, while 158.1 million Americans are “unclaimed.” The census estimates the number of Catholics in 2010 at 58.9 million; the latest edition of The Official Catholic Directory, using figures provided by dioceses, puts the number at 68.3 million.

The census also estimates that there were 50.0 million evangelical Protestants, 22.7 million mainline Protestants (a decline of 13% over ten years), 4.9 million black Protestants, and 1.1 million Orthodox in the US in 2010. The 13.1 million who belong to other religious bodies include 6.1 million Mormons, 2.6 million Muslims, 2.3 million Jews, 990,000 Buddhists, and 640,000 Hindus.


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  • Posted by: williiam ronner - May. 03, 2012 7:05 PM ET USA

    Ten years ago, a Mormon Bishop told me that there were 7,000,000 or more Mormons in the US. Today there are less, so how does that mean a 50% increase. They are great people with great family values, but a study of their beliefs reveals some astonishingly crazy beliefs. Polygamy in Heaven when Jesus said there is no marriage in Heaven? They believe all Mormon men can become gods of their own kingdoms in spite of what the 1st Commandment says?

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - May. 03, 2012 5:52 PM ET USA

    I would be scared of what they were spreading, given today's level of catechesis.

  • Posted by: Alcuin - May. 03, 2012 11:43 AM ET USA

    I expect the surge in Mormonism to continue. They really have their organization together. How well would Catholicism be spreading if we prepared all of our young men to be missionaries for two years when they turned 19?