The Decline of Institutional Religion

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1 The Decline of Institutional Religion Faith Angle Forum South Beach, Florida March 18, 2013 Luis Lugo Pew Research Center Washington, D.C.

2 I Long-Term Trends in Religious Affiliation 100 % Protestant Catholic 18 None Source: General Social Surveys, Other religious affiliations and those who did not give an answer are not shown. 1

3 Declining Share Are Protestant 60 % White evangelical White mainline 10 Black Protestant Other minority Protestant Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press,

4 Growth of the Religiously Unaffiliated 25 % Nothing in particular 10 5 Agnostic Atheist Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2007-July

5 Trends in Religious Affiliation, % % % % % % Change Christian Protestant White evang White mainline Black Protestant Other minority Prot Catholic Mormon Orthodox Other faith Unaffiliated Atheist Agnostic Nothing in particular Don t know Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, July In the change column, figures that are statistically significant are shown in bold. Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. 4

6 Growth in Religious Disaffiliation, by Demographic Groups Change % who describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated among % % U.S. general public Men Women College grad Some college or less $75, $30,000-$74, <$30, Northeast Midwest South West Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2007 and Changes that are statistically significant are shown in bold. 5

7 Growth in Religious Disaffiliation, by Race Change % who describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated among % % U.S. general public White Black Hispanic Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2007 and Hispanic figures based only on surveys that included Spanish interviewing. Changes that are statistically significant are shown in bold. 6

8 Religious Switching: Recruitment % who were raised in Same religion Different religion Current religion Protestant Catholic Unaffiliated Source: Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9,

9 Religious Switching: Retention % who are currently Same religion Different religion Unaffiliated Childhood religion Protestant Catholic Unaffiliated Source: Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9,

10 II Importance of Religion Very Somewhat General public 58% 22% Unaffiliated Atheist/Agnostic 2 14 Nothing in particular Source: Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9, Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. 9

11 Composition of the Unaffiliated Atheist 29% 12% Nothing in particular 71% Religious unaffiliated Agnostic 16% Religiously indifferent 42% Source: Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9, Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. 10

12 A Closer Look at the Nothing in Particulars All NiPs Religious Unaffiliated Religiously Indifferent Identify as a religious person Believe in God, absolutely certain Pray daily or more Source: Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9,

13 Believe in God or Universal Spirit? Yes, absolutely certain Yes, but less certain Net Affiliated 77% 20% 97 Unaffiliated Atheist/Agnostic 38 Nothing in particular Source: Pew Research Center/Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly survey, June 28-July 9, Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. 12

14 Frequency of Prayer Daily Weekly/monthly Affiliated 66% 22% Unaffiliated Atheist/Agnostic 6 11 Nothing in particular Source: Pew Research Center/Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly survey, June 28-July 9, Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. 13

15 Frequency of Worship Attendance Weekly Monthly/ Yearly Seldom/ Never DK N % % % % U.S. general public = ,010 Affiliated = ,821 Christian = ,086 Protestant = 100 7,316 White evangelical = 100 3,473 White mainline * = 100 3,035 Black Protestant = 100 1,319 Catholic = 100 3,692 White Catholic * = 100 2,546 Hispanic Catholic = Unaffiliated = 100 2,942 Atheist/Agnostic = Nothing in particular = 100 2,034 Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, January-July Whites and blacks include only those who are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race. Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. 14

16 Other Spiritual Beliefs % saying they believe in each of the following Spiritual energy located in physical things such as mountains, trees and crystals Unaffiliated Affiliated % % Yoga, not just as exercise, but as a spiritual practice Reincarnation, that people will be reborn again and again Astrology, that the position of stars/planets can affect people s lives Evil eye, that certain people can cast curses or spells that cause harm Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, August Q291a-c,e,f. Other responses and those who did not give an answer are not shown. 15

17 Supernatural Experiences Unaffiliated % saying they have experienced each of the following: % Affiliated % Been in touch with someone who has already died Religious or mystical experiences Seen or been in the presence of a ghost Consulted a fortuneteller or psychic Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey, August 2009.Q292a-c;Q290. Other responses and those who did not give an answer are not shown. 16

18 Reflecting on the Meaning of Life How often, if at all, do you think about the meaning and purpose of life? Often Sometimes Rarely /never DK % % % % Affiliated =100 Christian = 100 Protestant = 100 White evangelical = 100 White mainline * = 100 Black Protestant = 100 Catholic = 100 White Catholic * = 100 Hispanic Catholic = 100 Unaffiliated = 100 Atheist/Agnostic * = 100 Nothing in particular = 100 Source: Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9, Q21a. Whites and blacks include only those who are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race. Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. 17

19 Identity as a Spiritual or Religious Person Religious Spiritual only Neither Affiliated Unaffiliated Atheist/Agnostic Nothing in particular Source: Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9, Q50. Whites and blacks include only those who are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race. Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. 18

20 Looking for a Religion? Nothing in particular % of nothing in particulars who are % Looking for religion that is right for them 10 Not doing this 88 Don t know Source: Pew Research Center/Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly survey, June 28-July 9,

21 III Religious Affiliation by Age Unaffiliated Affiliated Don't know/refused Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, January-July

22 Life-Cycle Effect on Affiliation % unaffiliated with a religion, by generation Source: General Social Surveys. 21

23 Importance of Religion % saying religion is very important in their lives, by generation Source: Gallup Surveys. 22

24 Daily Prayer % saying they pray daily, by generation Source: General Social Surveys. 23

25 Attendance at Religious Services % saying they attend several times a week, every week or nearly every week, by generation Source: General Social Surveys. 24

26 Trends in Disaffiliation, by Religious Attendance 60% % of each attendance category that is unaffiliated 50 Seldom/never attend Attend monthly/yearly 13 3 Attend weekly or more Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press,

27 Common Reasons for Leaving Childhood Religion Raised Catholic, now unaffiliated Raised Protestant, now unaffiliated % saying important reason left former religion % % Just gradually drifted away from the religion Spiritual needs not being met Stopped believing in the religion s teachings Found a religion they liked more Unhappy with teachings about the Bible Dissatisfied with atmosphere at worship services Dissatisfied with clergy at congregation Source: Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S., April 2009, Pew Research Center s Forum on Religion & Public Life 26

28 Liminal Nones % of liminal nones in various religious traditions Source: Chaeyoon Lim, Carol Ann MacGregor, and Robert Putnam, Secular and Liminal: Discovering Heterogeneity Among Religious Nones, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 49, Number 4, December

29 IV Ideology Among Registered Voters Conservativerateral Mod- Lib- % % % All registered voters Unaffiliated Atheist/Agnostic Nothing in particular Affiliated Christian Protestant White evangelical White mainline Black Protestant Catholic White Catholic Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, January- July Based on registered voters. Those who did not give an answer are not shown. Whites and blacks include only those who are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race. 28

30 Social and Political Issues U.S. general public Unaffiliated Affiliated Abortion should be % % % Legal in all/most cases Illegal in all/most cases Don t know Same-sex marriage Favor Oppose Don t know Prefer Bigger gov t, more services Smaller gov t, fewer services Depends/don t know Source: Abortion figures from aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Same-sex marriage figures from aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Views on role of government from Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey, January Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. 29

31 Party Identification Among Registered Voters Rep/ Lean Rep Dem/ Lean Dem % % All registered voters Unaffiliated Atheist/Agnostic Nothing in particular Affiliated Christian Protestant White evangelical White mainline Black Protestant 7 89 Catholic White Catholic Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, January- July Based on registered voters. Those with no party preference (who refused to lean) are not shown. Whites and blacks include only those who are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race. 30

32 Religious Composition of Democratic/Democratic- Leaning Registered Voters Other 18% Religiously Unaffiliated 24% Hispanic Catholic 5% White Catholic 13% Black Protestant 16% White evangelical Protestant 9% White mainline Protestant 14% Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, January-July Based on registered voters. Whites and blacks include only those who are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race. Other includes Protestants and Catholics of a race or ethnic group not shown and those affiliated with other religions. 31

33 Views About Churches and Religious Organizations % saying they agree that churches and other religious organizations do each of the following Unaffiliated Affiliated Are too concerned with money and power Focus too much on rules Are too involved with politics Bring people together and strengthen community bonds Play important role helping poor and needy Protect and strengthen morality Source: Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9, Q73a-g. Those saying disagree and those who did not give an answer are not shown. 32

34 Views on Religion and Politics Affiliated Unaffiliated Important for a president to have strong religious beliefs 32% 75% Churches should keep out of political matters Churches should not endorse candidates Sources: Data on president s religious beliefs and churches endorsing candidates comes from Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9, Data on church involvement in political matters comes from Pew Research Center survey, March

35 In Their Own Words Main Reasons for Leaving Childhood Religion Raised Catholic, now unaffiliated Raised Protestant, now unaffiliated % % Religious and moral beliefs Do not believe in former religion/any religion Biblical/Scriptural reason 2 4 Religious institutions, practices and people Pedophilia scandal/molestation 2 0 Personal spirituality 6 9 Life cycle changes 5 4 Family reasons 4 2 Other reasons Don t know/refused 4 10 Source: Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S., April 2009, Pew Research Center s Forum on Religion & Public Life 34

36 (2) Wealth and Religious Commitment 3.00 Africa Kuwait 2.50 North America Religious Comm mitment Score Mexico East Europe Israel Canada U.S. West Europe East Europe Latin America Middle East Asia 0.50 Africa West Europe ,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 45,000 50,000 Per Capita GDP (Standardized) This chart has been reprinted from World Publics Welcome Global Trade But Not Immigration, Pew Global Attitudes Project,

37 Influence of Religion on Society % saying religion as a whole is its influence on American life Increasing Losing Same (vol.) DK % % % % U.S. general public = 100 Unaffiliated = 100 Atheist/Agnostic = 100 Nothing in particular = 100 Affiliated = 100 Christian = 100 Protestant = 100 White evangelical = 100 White mainline = 100 Black Protestant = 100 Catholic = 100 White Catholic = 100 Hispanic Catholic = 100 Source: Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9, Q42. Whites and blacks include only those who are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race. Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. 36

38 Declining Share Say They Never Doubt the Existence of God 100 % Agree that "I never doubt the existence of God." Disagree Source: Surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press,

39 Religious Attendance of U.S. Adults, % Weekly or more Monthly/Yearly Seldom/Never Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press,

40 Importance of Religion, % who say religion is very important Source: Surveys conducted by Gallup,

41 Importance of Prayer, Do you agree or disagree that prayer is an important part of your daily life? Agree Disagree Source: Surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press,

42 (3) Religious Disaffiliation by Demographic Groups Change % who describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated among % % U.S. general public White Black Hispanic Married Not married Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2007 and Hispanic figures based only on surveys that included Spanish interviewing. Changes that are statistically significant are shown in bold. 41

43 Marital Status of Religious Groups Married Living with partner Divorced/ Separated/Widowed Never married % % % % U.S. general public = 100 Affiliated = 100 Christian = 100 Protestant = 100 White evangelical = 100 White mainline = 100 Black Protestant = 100 Catholic = 100 White Catholic = 100 Hispanic Catholic = 100 Unaffiliated = 100 Atheist/agnostic = 100 Nothing in particular = 100 Source: Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, January - July Results repercentaged to exclude nonresponse. White and blacks include only those who are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race. 42

44 Current Marital Status, % Note: Based on adults ages 18 and older. Percents may not total 100% due to rounding. Source: Pew Research Center s Social and Demographic Trends analysis of Decennial Census ( ) and American Community Survey data (2008, 2010), IPUMS. 43

45 Median Age at First Marriage, Source: Pew Research Center s Social and Demographic Trends analysis of Current Population Survey, March and Annual Social and Economic Supplements. 44

46 Trend in Party Identification: Democrat Republican Independent Source: yearly averages from the Gallup Organization interactive website yearly totals from Times Mirror/Pew Research Center aggregate files. Based on general public. Independent data not available for

47 Partisan Profile of Nonvoters All adults Likely voters Nonvoters Party ID % % % Republican Democrat Independent Source: Pew Research Center poll conducted October 24-28, Nonvoters include all unregistered adults as well as registered voters who do not meet the criteria for likely voters used in Pew Research Center polls. 46

48 Rise and Decline of League Bowling Source: Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community,

49 Confidence in Institutions, % saying they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence Question wording: Now I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little? Note: Data not available for Congress in Source: Gallup New Service Survey, conducted June 9-12, Based telephone interviews of a national sample of 1,020 adults. 48

50 Confidence in the Church/Organized Religion % saying they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence Question wording: Now I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little? Source: Gallup New Service Survey, conducted June 7-10, Based telephone interviews of a national sample of 1,004 adults. 49

51 Other Organizations to Which Religiously Active Americans Belong Those who are active in religious groups Those who aren t active in such groups Sports or recreation leagues 35% 17% Charitable or volunteer organizations Professional or trade associations Political parties or organizations Alumni associations Performance arts groups 19 5 Literary, discussion, or study groups 18 6 Veterans organizations 11 4 Sports fantasy leagues 8 6 Farm organizations 7 2 Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2011 The civic and community engagement of religiously active Americans, p

52 Importance of Shared Community % saying belonging to a community of people who share your values and beliefs is Very important Somewhat important Not too/not at all important U.S. general public Black Protestant Hispanic Catholic White evangelical White Catholic White mainline Unaffiliated Source: Pew Research Center survey, June 28-July 9, Q22 Those who did not give an answer are not shown. Whites and blacks include only those who are not Hispanic; Hispanics are of any race. 51

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