Number of Americans Listing ‘None’ as Their Religious Affiliation Unexpectedly Changes


Those who fear that America is quickly going to hell in a hand basket may take some comfort in new polling.

Gallup reported earlier this month that those responding “none” as their religious preference has leveled out in the last six years.

“The long-term trends on this measure are straightforward. The percentage of nones measured in Gallup surveys has risen from close to zero in the 1950s to about one-fifth of the U.S. adult population today,” Gallup’s Frank Newport wrote.

“But over the past six years (2017-2022), the rise of the nones has stabilized. An average of 20 percent or 21 percent of Americans in Gallup surveys in each of these years say they don’t have a formal religious identity. We are not seeing the yearly increases that occurred in previous decades,” he noted.


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Newport believes one reason for the rise of poll respondents saying “none” in recent decades may be because there is less stigma associated with it.

“It is more culturally acceptable now to state publicly that one does not have a religious identity than it was decades ago. The rise of the nones, arguably, measures cultural shifts as well as it does a person’s underlying relationship to religion,” he wrote.

“An individual may be more willing to tell an interviewer they have no religion than they were several decades ago — because the normative culture has changed, not their internal religion,” Newport argued.

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A Pew Research Center poll released in September found that 63 percent of Americans identify as Christian, down from 90 percent in the early 1990s.

The firm’s Religious Landscape Study conducted in 2014 found Christianity to be the predominant religion in the U.S. with 70 percent saying they are of that faith, followed by Judaism at 1.9 percent, and…


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