None of the Above: Fastest Growing Religious Group in the United States Is “No Religion”

Reflecting a trend in other Western nations, Americans who describe themselves as without a religion continue to grow in number. They now represent one-fifth of all Americans and a huge one-third of adults under 30. It is an incredible disconnect with our politicians who continue in both parties to push faith-based politics. Some of these individuals may believe in the concept of a divine being but not associate with a particular religion. Perhaps sensing this trend toward agnostic and atheist views, U.S. politicians have increased their attacks on those who do not believe in an almighty being (here and here).


Yet with one out of three young adults listing themselves as without religious affiliation, other polls show atheists are trusted the same as rapists by other citizens. The prejudice against those who do not believe is worrisome. People like Tony Blair think that atheists may be a bigger threat than terrorists to the future of the world. Religious and political leaders around the world also opened up attacks on secularists as a growing evil.

Yet, despite this pressure, in the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. “Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).”

Here is the report: NonesOnTheRise-full

32 thoughts on “None of the Above: Fastest Growing Religious Group in the United States Is “No Religion”

  1. I was raised in a bible-believin’ family & attended week-day religious training as well as Sunday school. This training eventually encouraged me to read the whole bible front to back. I did it twice & spent many hours discussing what I read. It made me an atheist.

    But recently I have been enlightened to the one true religion. Yes, I was touched by His noodley appendage and have accepted the true faith of Pastafrian. rAmen

  2. Error in logic. A person who describes his/herself as “without a religion” is not necessarily atheist or agnostic. They may just not affilliate with a religion. There are lots of people who describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious”.

  3. When I die I want my eulogist to begin by saying she was an atheist. I only share my non-belief with a select few in my circle of friends and family. It is difficult living in Texas to be an atheist. I was raised in the church and held positions of lay leadership as an adult but after a lot of study decided it just didn’t make sense anymore. I find it freeing to admit I have no idea what happens when you die. It is the final mystery of life. I live each day with my goal being acceptance of others beliefs and trying to make life better in some way for those I meet. I don’t need a belief in reward or punishment after death to make me a good person.

  4. I would have paid a whole lot more attention in High School science class if my teacher had been Cara Santa Maria, but I also would probably have pulled even worse grades

  5. Not surprising that this increase parallels the increase in numbers of those who do not affiliate with any political party.

    Change is not coming, change is already here.

    Politicians are always the last to figure things out.

  6. As I mentioned on some other thread politicians pay heed to organized religions (especially the fundamentalist, authoritarian kind) because these
    institutions can be used to get their people to vote as a bloc. In politics obtaining a solid voting bloc is the gold standard. We need to develop an anti-religious bloc of secular voters made up of atheists, agnostics, deists and those who don’t care at all. That would be an almost impossible task though since such people, like myself, are too independent minded to vote as a bloc.
    This is the inherent difficulty in combating these “holders of eternal truth”.

  7. I was born an atheist, I became infected with religion as a child, but I recovered to the true path of complete atheism and a disbelief in all supernaturalism by the time I was 16. Hallelujah!

    As Mike says (or alludes to), religion is almost always just another means of control and command; a threat of supernatural pain and punishment if one refuses to conform, either in the current life (Karmic justice) or the fictional after-life.

    I suppose I was born too early, if this trend holds I would love to see the atheist dominated world in fifty years. I believe the rise in atheism among the young (and I see it rising on campus) is directly related to the informational tools they have at their disposal. Atheism has always been more strongly represented among the highly intelligent, and I think these tools and the information age are increasing effective IQ among those raised with ubiquitous information access.

    As the tools get better, the effective IQ will rise and atheism will increase. I figure if I cannot be there for the fully realized result, then hopefully I can at least contribute something to its realization.

  8. The next attempt at organized religion will come from the State in their attempts to control the internet with “six strike” and “blasphemy” laws. There is no such thing as blasphemy. This is such a thing as small-minded people having grand mal temper tantrums, claiming it was words they heard, or images the saw, never admitting the truth of the deep mental illness of religion.

    No need to worry about the ‘net tho. Meshnets are coming, and this will erode the hierarchy that presently controls access to the internet.

  9. “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”

    ~Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

    As in so many things, we are just now catching up to the intellect of Jefferson. Two hundred and seventy nine years is about right for 1/5 of the populace.

  10. JESUS said to believe in GOD THE FATHER. if you listen to a layman you will surely be lost.
    also said that an atheist will stand a better chance of getting into HEAVEN than a christian.
    I can tell you a lot about HEAVEN, and you are capable of thought as you you do on earth.
    if you want the word about GOD THE FATHER to continue, spread the word that GOD THE FATHER was born in traverse city, michigan in the 1950’s as written. (Nostradamus and Bible both)

    If you ever saw something supernatural, you would be very, very scared to tell anyone for fear of being called a nut. WE UNDERSTAND, but people need to know that GOD was present in their lives.

    MY true church has not been started yet because of the politicians going to the antichrist who are destroying the country, and I told them what do so that it would not happen. but they do not listen. they Will come to GOD, NOT MY SON, as written.

  11. Dear God – Yeah, I’ll get right on that spreading the word thing . . . just as soon as you come up with a single, consistent document with your word in it.

    Pretty sad that the great omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient one has 30-40 different versions of his word floating around that disagree on some pretty fundamental points.

  12. >>> People like Tony Blair think that atheists
    >>> may be a bigger threat than terrorists to
    >>> the future of the world.

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Organized religion IS terroristic by its very nature.

    The idiotic attitudes of those like Blair and both Bu**sh**s is WHY people are turning away from organized crime…I mean, organized religion…okay, organized crime. People are seeing religion for what it is, what it becomes when it becomes dominant and gets its way: violent, vicious, abusive, deceitful, and power hungry.

    People blather about “religions are only peaceful and tolerant”! Not they’re not. In society they are only “peaceful and tolerant” when they are in the minority of the population. And even then, they will be violent, vicious, abusive, deceitful, and power hungry within their own group (e.g. the rampant sexual abuse and rape amongst the amish). Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and religions claim absolute authority.

    Some/Many of those who identify themselves as “no religion” may still believe in fictions, but they have given up listening to those with warped views of morality. And being a religion of one person, they’re unlikely to become a danger to others.

    All religion is fiction, and people are capable of figuring out morality on their own. Organized religions are intended to violate our sense of morality to enable and rationalize groupthink and violence against others.

  13. Frankly, you need to show how real the appendage is in relation to God as theists just dismiss it as without debate value as they do Lord Russell’s celestial teapolt as Alister Earl McGrath does that one.Nevertheless, as He is only a square circle, the appendage is more real.

  14. The man Christopher Higgins would be pleased to know more people believe that God is not great! And why am I automatically capitalizing the ‘G’ in God? Old habits die hard?

  15. To clarify, He refers to God. Google the ignostic-Ockham to see why He is that square circle and thus cannot exist! That circle is a useless superfluity, despite McGrath, in whose name people murder others!
    WEIT has reason to dismiss him for his claims about Dawkins.

  16. Religion is very important. It…… Well, ok it does not do anything positive. And yeah it does things negative. But without it we would not have……
    Hmmn. Ok, Dog spelled backwards is God. Four legs good, two legs baaaad. Believe in dog. Get a dog. Get papers for your dog. Believe in Dog. Forget all that christianity and muslim mush.

  17. A welcome step would be for religious types to be just consultants rather than dictators. Like going to an interior decorator for ideas on how to furnish a house rather than handing the whole house over to the repo man.

    Personally, I like the ancient Greek et al idea of placing coins on the eyes of the deceased, to pay Charon’s toll for the ride across the Styx. Much more reasonable than having to surrender one’s soul in the untimate death tax. That is being forced to abide by some religion’s life long encumbrance and afterward it owning you in the afterlife.

  18. […] None of the Above: Fastest Growing Religious Group in the United States Is “No Religion” Reflecting a trend in other Western nations, Americans who describe themselves as without a religion continue to grow in number. They now represent one-fifth of all Americans and a huge one-third of adults under 30. It is an incredible disconnect with our politicians who continue in both parties to push faith-based politics. Some of these individuals may believe in the concept of a divine being but not associate with a particular religion. Perhaps sensing this trend toward agnostic and atheist views, U.S. politicians have increased their attacks on those who do not believe in an almighty being…. […]

  19. frankly I did send all MY documents in to the proper authorities, years ago, and it is not to any church. they knew that I was actually going to be born and where. so what are the best kept secrets? does do not test GOD like the church, and congress is doing sound familiar? write your reps instead in washington, d.c. they know things that you do not.

  20. “The man Christopher Higgins would be pleased to know more people believe that God is not great! And why am I automatically capitalizing the ‘G’ in God?”

    Because in that sentence it is a proper noun? Otherwise it’d be gods or “the god of…” or “a god.”

  21. Although I guess it’s possible that if God exists he’s a poet who refuses to use punctuation or capital letters.

    Maybe he’s in college.

  22. “god being Brand

    -new;and you
    know consequently a
    little stiff it was
    careful of it and(having

    thoroughly created the universal
    being tested my being felt of
    it’s thoughts made sure my existence was O.

    K.)i went right to it made-the-world cranked her…”

  23. The smile on my face gets broader and brighter, as the reality of ‘Non-belief’ in imaginary ghods and susperstition spreads slowly across America….

  24. This is not funny! I am under 13 years old and crying my eyes out over this!!!!!! I am upset of what this country has come to.:(

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