The Population of Non-Christians Keeps Rising in America
In a national demographic shift of equal importance to the increasing number of Latinos, Asians and "Others" within race / ethnicity self-identification in America, the number of Americans self-identifying as Christian continues to decline as a precipitous rate:
But the survey, based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans, offers one of the clearest views yet of that trend, scholars said.(...)
The survey also indicates that the group that had the greatest net gain was the unaffiliated. More than 16 percent of American adults say they are not part of any organized faith, which makes the unaffiliated the country's fourth largest "religious group."(...)
While the unaffiliated have been growing, Protestantism has been declining, the survey found. In the 1970s, Protestants accounted for about two-thirds of the population. The Pew survey found they now make up about 51 percent.(...)
The percentage of Catholics in the American population has held steady for decades at about 25 percent. But that masks a precipitous decline in native-born Catholics. The proportion has been bolstered by the large influx of Catholic immigrants, mostly from Latin America, the survey found.The complete survey can be found here. Overall, it indicates that 21.4% of the country does not self-identify as Christian, with unaffiliated making up the majority of that diverse group. It is also worth noting that unaffiliated is itself a diverse and largely unknown group:
The rise of the unaffiliated does not mean that Americans are becoming less religious, however. Contrary to assumptions that most of the unaffiliated are atheists or agnostics, most described their religion "as nothing in particular." Pew researchers said that later projects would delve more deeply into the beliefs and practices of the unaffiliated and would try to determine if they remain so as they age.