Poll: Secular Americans On The Rise With Sharp Increase In Those Without Religion Affiliation

170px-rembrandt_harmensz-_van_rijn_079-1There is an interesting new Pew poll that shows that the number of Americans without affiliation to any religion is continuing to rise — as is the number of Americans who now classify themselves as atheists or agnostics. The numbers of “nones” has grown to 56 million in recent years, making it the second largest number behind evangelicals. From 2007 to 2014, Americans describing themselves as as atheist, agnostic or of no particular faith grew from 16 percent to nearly 23 percent. This is roughly one out of four Americans. Pew found a rising tide of secularism in the United States. It is an interesting poll since religious groups tend to have far greater political power in the country as shown by various “faith-based” policies.


I have written previously (here) on how both Republicans and Democrats, including President Obama (here), have embraced faith-based politics. Yet, in addition to strong support for separation of church and state, many Americans disclaim any faith-based affiliation.

Notably, the largest group of faith followers (Christians) has shown the greatest decline in numbers. In the latest poll, Christians dropped from about 78 percent to just under 71 percent of the population. Protestants now comprise 46.5 percent the country.

Last year, 31 percent of the “nones” said they were atheist or agnostic as compared to 25 percent in 2007. In addition, the percentage who said religion was important to them has dropped.

The question is how the parties, and particularly the Republican party, will respond to this trend. Notably, people with no religion tend to vote Democratic, while white evangelicals tend to vote Republican. The greatest drops among Christians were seen among more liberal Protestants and Roman Catholics.

Mainline Protestants declined by about 5 million to 36 million between 2007 and 2014. The study put the number of Catholic adults at 51 million, or just over one-fifth of the U.S. population, a drop of about 3 percent over seven years.

While there was an increase in Muslims and Hindus, both groups comprise less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. The number of Jews rose slightly over the period, from 1.7 percent to 1.9 percent of Americans.

It is fascinating to see these demographic shifts as well as the relative political power that is held by various groups in our political system.

With one out of four Americans in the “none” category, it will be interesting to see if the rising secular values in our country will translate to changes in either party — or whether the determinative factor will continue to be the concentrated voting blocks or influence of particular faith-based groups.

Source: PEW Study

310 thoughts on “Poll: Secular Americans On The Rise With Sharp Increase In Those Without Religion Affiliation”

  1. olly…you give me a barrels worth of entertainment…seek and tee shall find senor

  2. dave, seek and you will find…mormons, jehovah’s, baptists, sda’s, methodists, all fake…orthodox have valid orders and apostolic succession, but they are heretical in much doctrine…and they split in 1054…the catholic Church is the “A” team…come, join us…

  3. Carmelita,
    Then feel empowered to answer the questions I’ve asked him that he has thus far avoided answering.

  4. Hahah!…I let her in for giggles, we’re at home…she is enjoying it though. I sponsored my little cream-puff when she was confirmed. she’s a bit biased, but she knows her faith

  5. Good grief.

    Take a look folks at the Pale Blue Dot and tell me how it matters whether it was Peter, Paul, or Mary or what Henry’s motives were or if he had a STD.

    Full of sound and fury and signifying nothing…

  6. catholics are the true church and stanton is quite a little debater.

  7. wrxdave,
    Great post at: May 16, 2015 at 10:46 am. Well said.

  8. Pope Heraclas?…gee dave…you will fit right in with the mormons…the have a bogus angel called moroni….ever heard of him dave?…bet you have…the mormons also don’t believe Jesus is God…did you know that dave?…betchu did…so dave…what Church do you attend?…if it’s not catholic, it has no apostolic succession…Lutherans didn’t even exist at the time of the crusades dave…sorry dave…no apostolic succession with any flavor of protestants

    1. The Great Stanton wrote: “… so dave…what Church do you attend?”

      I am not religious. I am not a Mormon as you claimed. I am not any type of Christian. I attend no church. I am a theist, meaning, that I believe in God. I also believe Jesus is the greatest example of a human being that anyone could follow.

  9. dave you forgot the churches of Corinth and Ephesus…you only cherry-picked the orthodox heretical church, that is in antioch…

    1. The Great Stanton wrote: “… you forgot the churches of Corinth and Ephesus…you only cherry-picked the orthodox heretical church…”

      I’ve been to both Corinth and Ephesus. Mostly ruins, but there are Christians there. I don’t know what your point was.

  10. I hope everyone recognizes Stanton only responds to those questions for which he has a canned response. He is proving he hasn’t the critical – thinking skills to respond to questions off script.

  11. the church of antioch is a heretical church…this is an orthodox branch…nothing more…

  12. dave i actualy didn’t use wikkipedia, …for all I know the kids running it worship pineapples up in the silicone valley…LOL!…my Church is 2000 years old dave…if you’re mormon, and I think you are…you can trace your cult back to Joseph Smith and the loons he recruited in upstate new york back in the mid 1800’s….lutherans nor anglicans can claim apostolic succession, as they have existed for merely 500 years and less…apostolic succession means “they” can trace their origin, all the way back to the apostles…Luther started out as a Catholic… he had it then, and lost it later as did Henry’s Bishops, like Cranmer who became heretics…nice try dave…dave, what part of aposotolic succession do you fail to grasp…was it math, that was not your forte in school…or english?

    1. Stanton – if you are Jewish you can trace your religion back 3500 years and if you are Zoroastrian even further. I am not sure what your point is. Catholicism has ripped off more pagan religions than any religion I can think of. Had it not been for Constantine they would have never been a stable religion. Who is to say they got it right then? Or that they have it right now?

  13. Your lack of response to my questions Stanton is demonstrative of how flawed your reasoning actually is.

  14. no dave…you have contrived this…name the books of historical merit that contradict what I have said…are these catholic authors?…or fundie authors?…get my drift…what I have shared can be proven historically…what you offer is personal opinion, from your ego, nothing more…give me the books and authors dave…and dates of publication, that refute Peter being in Rome…I’ll be waiting dave

    1. The Great Stanton wrote: “what you offer is personal opinion, from your ego, nothing more…give me the books and authors dave…and dates of publication, that refute Peter being in Rome…I’ll be waiting dave”

      As you well know, this would take me a few hours to pull up references for you. I am working from memory of historical research that I have done. If you were seriously interested, I would take the time over the next few days to provide such references, but my sense is that you are not really interested. You trust your religion to provide you with truth, and nothing that contradicts your religion would be acceptable to you. Therefore, it would be a waste of my time to provide you with such. I have given you enough information that if you were truly interested in truth, you could do your homework for yourself and establish the validity of the history that you were taught. Some histories are very contradictory and it is difficult to know who is telling the truth. Some histories appear to be self serving. For example, the British historians who place Peter there, is that just a history that gives the Roman Catholics leverage to convince the Anglicans that they must stay under the pope in Rome?

      Some of my sources include Philip Schaff’s History of the Christian Church, and the Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene fathers, and Joseph Lightfoot’s apostolic fathers, as well as the pseudepigrapha, and Eusebius’s history, etc. are sources that have informed me. I also have read many Roman Catholic historians as well as Orthodox historians too.

  15. dave…if St. Peter was not our first Pope…who was?…the more you seek dave…the more you will find the Catholic Church…

    1. The Great Stanton wrote: “if St. Peter was not our first Pope…who was?”

      The first religious leader who was called pope was Pope Heraclas of Alexandria. The bishops in Alexandria and Rome were called popes with some frequency until the great schism of the eleventh century when the Roman Catholics insisted on the primacy of the Roman pope over all other church leaders.

  16. dave, you remind me of a baptist friend of mine from Lubbock, he argued with me tooth and nail about the primacy of Peter and Church history for two whole years, we wnt back and forth, I just kept fortifying him with books…he’s now a monastic at a religious community in Kentucky…enjoy

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