A new poll shows that Americans who identify as white and Christian are now less than 50 percent of the U.S. population.
The survey from the Public Religion Research Institute says while Christians make up about 70 percent of Americans, white Christians now only comprise 43 percent of the population.
About forty years ago, eight in 10 Americans identified as white Christians.
Researchers say there have also been drops in membership in Presbyterian and Lutheran churches and white Americans in Catholic churches, while there has been growth among Latino Christians and African-American Christians.
The survey said that among American Catholics, 55 percent identify as white. Nearly 25 years ago, 87 percent of American Catholics identified as white.
According to the survey, about 17 percent of Americans identify as white evangelical, which includes members in the Southern Baptist Convention. Ten years ago, that number was 23 percent. The Southern Baptist Convention itself has seen membership fall to its lowest since 1990.
"So often, white evangelicals have been pointing in judgment to white mainline groups, saying when you have liberal theology you decline," said Robert Jones, chief executive of PRRI. "I think this data really does challenge that interpretation of linking theological conservatism and growth."
Other surveys have shown that the Protestant majority dropped about 2008.
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Publication date: September 8, 2017