58 Percent of Americans Believe in 'God as Described in the Bible': Pew Poll

Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Wednesday, November 24, 2021
58 Percent of Americans Believe in 'God as Described in the Bible': Pew Poll

58 Percent of Americans Believe in 'God as Described in the Bible': Pew Poll


A majority of Americans say they believe in “God as described in the Bible,” according to a new Pew Research Center survey that also showed less than one in 10 U.S. adults reject any belief in God or a “higher power.”

The poll, released Tuesday, found that 58 percent of American adults say they believe in “God as described in the Bible,” while an additional 32 percent say they don’t believe in the God of the Bible but “do believe there is some other higher power or spiritual force in the universe,” according to the survey’s wording.

All total, 91 percent of Americans say they believe in God or a higher power – slightly above the percentage when Pew asked those same questions in 2020 (89 percent) and 2017 (90 percent).

Nine percent of Americans say they don’t believe in God or a higher power, slightly lower than the 11 percent in 2020 and the 10 percent in 2017.

Meanwhile, 73 percent of Americans say they believe in heaven, while 62 percent say they believe in hell. Belief in heaven is strong among self-professed evangelicals (96 percent), members of historically black churches (93 percent) and Catholics (90 percent). Evangelicals (91 percent) and members of historically black churches (89 percent) are more likely than Catholics (74 percent) to say they believe in hell.

Overall, women are more likely than men to believe in heaven and hell: more than three-quarters of women (78 percent) say they believe in heaven, while only 68 percent of men do. On hell, 65 percent of women but 59 percent of men believe in it.

Among other findings in the survey:

  • 68 percent of Americans say they believe “everything in life happens for a reason.”  
  • 83 percent say they believe “some things happen in life that can’t really be explained by science or natural causes.”
  • 44 percent say they believe in fate, which the poll defined as “the course of your life is predetermined.”

The poll was conducted Sept. 20-26 among 6,485 U.S. adults.

Photo courtesy: © Unsplash/Aaron Burden


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.