Americans With No Religion Greatly Outnumber White Evangelicals

May 11, 2018

By Ed Kilgore

It’s relatively well-known that the portion of the U.S. population with no religious affiliation has been steadily increasing recently. And for those paying attention to research, it’s also been obvious for a while that conservative evangelicals were beginning to lose “market share” after years of mocking their mainline Protestant cousins of “dying” because of insufficiently rigorous theology and moral strictures.

But now comes a new set of data from years of polling by ABC News and the Washington Post that puts these trends together in a way that might bust some old preconceptions. Between 2003 and 2017, the percentage of adult Americans professing “no religion” grew from 12 percent to 21 percent. And at the same time, the portion of the population made up by white evangelicals dropped from 21 percent to 13 percent. Indeed, the white evangelical population dropped even faster than the white non-evangelical population (which shrank from 17 percent to 11 percent), and the two groups are converging in size.

Among younger Americans, the trends are even starker. In 2003, only 19 percent of adults under 30 professed “no religion.” That percent rose to 35 percent in 2017. That’s compared to only 22 percent who identify with any sort of Protestantism.

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3 comments on “Americans With No Religion Greatly Outnumber White Evangelicals

  • It’s time that these statistics started to manifest themselves in terms of the calibre of candidates and the numbers of votes cast. Apathy and/or complacency is what enables the nutters and bigots to occupy space that should be denied them.

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  • A very heartening trend. But unless it makes itself felt in voter participation, it could be close to useless.
    The US is heading for a mid-term election now – the entire House of Representatives and one third of the Senate. If this shift does not have an effect on participation, then the unfortunately frequently low voter turnout at midterm elections could still leave the hydrophobic maniacs with excessive control of Congress. I have read, years ago, that in some voting areas (precincts, is it?) voting was around 30% of eligible voters. And don’t even get me started on having to register to vote, by now this is handled far better here in Germany, which your grandfathers etc. liberated from the Nazi scum 73 years ago. With only 30% voter participation (of REGISTERED voters), just over 15% is needed to elect a Congressman (or –woman) into office. As happened back in 1994, when Bill Clinton (who had too many issues facing him which were his own fault during his administration) was faced with a hostile Congress after the “Republican Revolution of ’94”, which was basically effected by a catastrophically low voter turnout. Far from being any kind of Congress “mandate” as the putrid scum Newt Gingrich, becoming Speaker of the Hose, claimed. The Republicans, only just starting on their “Gleichschaltung” of American politics, managed to motivate their rock-solid base of hydrophobic maniacs and enough deluded morons to make the part of Lincoln’s statement of “you can fool some of the people all of the time” as the defining fact of US politics, quite to the contrary to what Lincoln had thought he was saying. The use of (private) TV channels to increase the proportion of the electorate into ignorant morons has also had the desired effect in Germany, and is to be blamed on the all-too-long-term Chancellor Helmut Kohl, recently deceased, of whose 16 years of chancellorship precisely the one year leading to German reunification was brilliant, while the other 15 years (8 after reunification) were a catastrophe, as he was an economic imbecile in comparison to his predecessor, Social Democrat chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

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