General Society Study shows only half of Americans believe in God

Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Does God exist? Only half of Americans say a definite yes
  • General Social Survey, stands out among several nuggets of new data about religion in America.
  • Not quite 50 percent of Americans say they have no doubt about the existence of God, according to the 2022 survey, released Wednesday by NORC, the University of Chicago research organization. As recently as 2008, the share of sure-believers topped 60 percent.
  • Thirty-four percent of Americans never go to church, NORC found, the highest figure recorded in five decades of surveys.
  • Another new report, from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), said that 27 percent of Americans claimed no religion in 2022, up from 19 percent in 2012 and 16 percent in 2006.
  • The General Social Survey found 29 percent of Americans claiming no religion in 2021, up from 23 percent in 2018 and 5 percent in 1972.
  • Mainline Protestantism, the backbone of faith in many American communities, is “collapsing,” Burge wrote in a recent article on the decline of Baptists, Methodists and other denominations.
  • Since the 1970s, the share of Americans who identify with Protestant denominations has declined from nearly 1 in 3 to around 1 in 10.
  • To some extent, declining faith is a generational trend. The share of Americans who claim no religion rises with progressively younger age groups: 9 percent of the Silent Generation, 18 percent of baby boomers, 25 percent of Generation X, 29 percent of millennials and 34 percent of Generation Z, according to data from the Survey Center on American Life.
  • But the rise in nonreligious Americans is too steep to be fully explained “in terms of generational replacement; that is, religious old people dying and secular young people taking their place,” said David Campbell, the Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame.
  • Changing societal norms may also explain why half of Americans can now say they aren’t sure there is a God.

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