Number of Atheists in the U.S. Spikes; Protestants a Minority for the First Time

A new study has found that for the first time the U.S. does not have a Protestant majority. The report from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released Tuesday put the number of Protestant adults below 50 percent (at 48 percent) for the first time in polling history. The reason for this is partly attributed to the spike in Americans who claim no religion (20 percent, compared to 15 percent five years ago.) The Pew study noted:

Their ranks [the non-religious] now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6 percent of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14 percent)… The growth in the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans – sometimes called the rise of the “nones” – is largely driven by generational replacement, the gradual supplanting of older generations by newer ones.

The data about the falling number of Protestants was collected from a sizable sample of 17,000 people. Similarly, a census reportearlier this year found “for the first time” whites were surpassed as the majority in the U.S. Of course before European settlement a few centuries ago the area that’s now the U.S. had neither white nor Protestant populations.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.