Here is my summary of the survey highlights (or lowlights…). Of course, my first interest is in looking at overall religious affiliations. The top 4 religious affiliations in the U.S.:
- 26.3% Evangelical Protestant Churches
- 23.9% Catholic
- 18.1% Mainline Protestant Churches
- 16.1% Unaffiliates
Now, what might that “Unaffiliated” category be? You can click on all the groups to get more details, so unaffiliated breaks out into: Nothing in particular (12.1% with 6.3% “secular unaffiliated”), Agnostic (2.4%), and Atheist (1.6%). Quick math: 10.3% are secular unaffiliated, agnostics, or atheists.
I used a summary table that compares affiliation by age groups to determine that the 18-29 year category has the highest percentage of atheists amongst the age categories (3% vs. about 1% in the other brackets – these are row percentages rather than the column percentages in the published table).
By far more men consider themselves atheists: 70% of atheists are male. Across the affiliations, men are almost twice as likely to be in the atheist/agnostic/secular group (12% vs 7%). It’s interesting, though, that there isn’t any category where women dominate as much.
If you’re living with your partner or have never married, you are much more likely to be in the atheist/agnostic/secular group: 17% and 15% vs. 8% for married or divorced/separated and 4% for widowed (probably a factor of age).
The Center for Inquiry also commented on the results of this survey.
For an essay on religion over time throughout the world, check out Why the Gods are Not Winning by Gregory Paul and Phil Zuckerman.
Thanks to the Brights’ Bulletin for not only reporting on this survey but also providing a link…
Thanks to the Frame Problem for pointing me to the CFI press release.