Study shows public becoming less religious

The numbers seem to be moving in the right direction for nonbelievers.

A survey recently found that the number of U.S. adults who believe in God, pray daily, or regularly go to church all have declined in the past several years.

The Pew Research Center surveyed more than 35,000 people in its 2014 Religious Landscape Study, a follow-up to a similar one done in 2007.

According to the study, the decrease in religious beliefs is due in large part to the increase in “nones,” those who say they do not belong to any organized religion. The biggest jump among the “nones” was among those in the millennial generation, which is roughly described as those who were born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s.

The percentage of U.S. adults who say they believe in God dropped from 92 in 2007 to 89 in 2014. And those who responded that they are “absolutely certain” God exists dropped from 71% to 63% over the course of the two studies.

The religiously unaffiliated (“nones,” not to be confused with “nuns”!) now make up 23% of the adult population, up significantly from the 16% in 2007. One-third of the “nones” say they do not believe in God, which is up 11 percentage points since 2007.

While the “nones” have grown since the last study, they have also become less religious. The share of “nones” who say religion is “very important” to them has fallen 3%, and those who say religion is “somewhat” important has fallen 4%.

Nearly two-thirds of the “nones” rated religion as “not too important” or “not at all important,” which is up from 57% in the 2007 study.

Freedom From Religion Foundation