The Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace in U.S.

More American adults are identifying as religious unaffiliated as the population share of Christians declines.

The religious landscape of the United States is changing rapidly as a new survey revealed that the number of Christians has declined 12 percentage points from the last decade, while the number of religiously unaffiliated rises, according to The Pew Research Center

Through phone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, the Pew Research Center found that 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christian, a noticeable decline from 77% just a decade ago.

However, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, which includes people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular,” increased to 26% from 17% in 2009.

The changing American landscape, in regards to religion, is broad-based. The decline of Christians and the increase of religious “nones” has grown across multiple demographic groups: white people, black people, Hispanics; men and women; in all regions of the country; and among college graduates and those with lower levels of education.

Most noticeable is the wide gap between older Americans, the Baby Boomers and members of the Silent Generation, and Millennials in their levels of religious affiliation and attendance. 

More than eight-in-ten people in the Silent Generation, those born between 1928 and 1945, identify as Christians (84%), while 76% of Baby Boomers do as well. Yet, only half of Millennials (49%) describe themselves as Christians. 

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