In US, decline of Christianity continues at rapid pace
October 18, 2019
A new study by the Pew Forum finds a steep decline in the number of Americans who identify themselves as Christians, and a similar drop in the number of Americans who identify themselves as Catholic.
“65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade,” according to the report. 43% of Americans now identify themselves as Protestants, 20% as Catholics, and 26% as atheist (4%), agnostic (5%), or “nothing in particular” (17%).
One in five American adults (20%) are Catholic, down from nearly one in four (24%) just twelve years ago.
Perhaps even more striking is the drop in the percentage of Hispanic Americans who are Catholic: from 57% to 47% in the past ten years, so that for the first time, a minority of Hispanic American adults are Catholic. Among Hispanics, the percentage belonging to Protestant denominations held roughly steady, while the unaffiliated number grew.
The Pew data show a strong generational trend away from Christian churches. Of those adult Americans born between 1928 and 1945, 85% describe themselves as Christians; about those born between 1946 and 1964, 76%; among those born 1965 to 1980, 67%; and among those born 1981-1996, just 49%.
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