According to a Pew survey released on Tuesday, the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans – sometimes called the “nones” – is growing.
The study found that 20 percent of Americans are not affiliated with any religion, which is a five percent increase from just five years ago. Nearly six percent of the U.S. public, or 13 million people, are self-described atheists or agnostics, according to the new survey.
Pew claims the rise of the “nones” is largely driven by generational replacement. Thirty-three percent respondents under the age of 30 said they do not associate with a particular religion, compared to only 9 percent of respondents over the age of 65.
The religious dissociation trend appears to be unique to caucasian Americans. Pew found the share of blacks and Hispanics who are religiously unaffiliated has not changed by a statistically significant margin in recent years.
Most of the unaffiliated say religious organizations are too concerned with money, power, politics and rules.
The religiously unaffiliated are liberal in their political ideology; six in ten described themselves as Democrats, compared with 48 percent of all registered voters.
Surprisingly, Pew found that 68 percent of this growing group say they believe in God, 37 percent describe themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious” and 21 percent said that they even pray every day.
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