Pew: 1 in 5 Americans Have No Religious Affiliation

Videos Highlighting The Latest Search Trends.
Oct. 9 2012 1:59 PM

Pew: 1 in 5 Americans Have No Religious Affiliation

In God, fewer of us trust.

Although 79 percent of Americans still identify with an "established faith," 1 in 5 U.S. adults now say they are not affiliated with any particular religion.

Advertisement

Recent data released by the Pew Research Center saw a dramatic increase in Americans who identify their religious beliefs as "nothing in particular," agnostic, or atheist—up from 8 percent in 1990 to nearly 20 percent today. For the first time ever, Protestants also make up fewer than half of the U.S. population at 48 percent. 

Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam believes the shift away from religious affiliation is a reaction to the religious right, since unaffiliated people tend to be liberal on social issues like abortion and gay rights. About two-thirds of unaffiliated people tend to vote for Democrats and make up 24 percent of the Democratic constituency. By comparison, white evangelicals make up 34 percent of the Republican base.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.