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News Link • Religion: Believers

Pew: U.S. Christian Population in Freefall, 12% Drop in Ten Years


In just ten years the percentage of U.S. adults that identify as Christians dropped by a remarkable 12 percent, Pew found, from to 77 percent to just 65 percent, the lowest point in the nation's 243-year history.

Protestantism and Catholicism have both suffered significant losses, with the number of Protestants dropping from 51 percent in 2009 to just 43 percent today, while the number of Catholics has fallen from nearly a quarter of the population (23 percent) to just one-in-five (20 percent) since 2009.

During the same period, the number of religious "nones" — those who self-identify as atheist, agnostic, or "nothing in particular" — has shot up by a stunning 17 percent and this group now makes up more than a quarter of the population (26 percent).

The number of atheists in the country has doubled since 2009, from just 2 percent of the population to the current 4 percent. Agnostics now make up 5 percent of the adult population, up from just 3 percent in 2009, while those who describe their religion as "nothing in particular" has leapt from 12 percent to 17 percent in this ten-year period.

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