I’ve been skimming through the Pew Research Center’s latest survey data on Americans’ religious affiliations. There’s more to be said, but here are a handful of striking highlights:
* There are now more “nones” in the U.S. than there are Catholics.
* The percentage of American who are mainline Protestant is now smaller than the percentage of Americans who were “nones” seven years ago.
* All three of the biggest Christian categories are declining: evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants, and Catholics. The evangelical decline is least sharp: 1 percentage point as contrasted to about 3 points for Catholics and mainline Protestants. Nevertheless, the Why Conservative Churches Are Growing era is over–a finding which I confess to find an occasion for schadenfreude.
If you want the actual numbers, here’s a partial picture of the current American-religions pie. In other words, here’s a list of the percentage values (rounded off) for the biggest religious categories in the survey:
25% Evangelical Protestants
23% “Nones” (Report no religious affiliation)
15% Mainline Protestant
6% Non-Christian religions