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The Number of Americans Who Identify as Christian Has Fallen

  Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Monday, December 20, 2021
The Number of Americans Who Identify as Christian Has Fallen

A new Pew Research study found that the number of American Christians has fallen to 63 percent.

In 2007, about 78 percent of U.S. adults said they identified as Christian.

Those who identified as religiously unaffiliated jumped from 16 percent in 2007 to 29 percent in 2021.

While Christians once outnumbered religious “nones” 5 to 1, “Christians now outnumber religious ‘nones’ by a ratio of a little more than 2-to-1,” the report stated.

The percentage of Americans who identify as Catholic has fallen from 24 percent in 2007 to 21 percent in 2021. The steepest fall, however, came from Protestantism, which fell from 52 percent to 40 percent.

The number of people identifying as Evangelical Protestant has also dropped from 30 percent in 2007 to 24 percent today. Non-evangelical Protestants fell from 22 percent to 16 percent.

The report also evaluated prayer practicing, finding that those who say they pray every day fell from 58 percent in 2007 to 45 percent in 2021. Those who say they seldom or never pray jumped from 18 percent to 32 percent.

Those who said they pray weekly or monthly has remained the same at 22 percent.

“Many Americans — especially young people — see religion as bound up with political conservatism, and the Republican party specifically,” David Campbell, professor and chair of the University of Notre Dame’s political science department, told The Guardian in April.

“Since that is not their party, or their politics, they do not want to identify as being religious. Young people are especially allergic to the perception that many — but by no means all — American religions are hostile to LGBTQ rights.”

The research study also found:

  • 41 percent of Americans say religion is very important, 25 percent said it is somewhat important, and 33 percent say it is not too important or not important at all
  • 31 percent said they attend religious services at least monthly, 25 percent attend at least weekly
  • 70 percent of Black evangelical Protestants say they attend church monthly or more
  • 28 percent of white non-evangelical Christians say they attend at least monthly

Photo courtesy: ©Priscilla du Preez/Unsplash

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.