Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Membership in Religious Congregations Falls below 50%

The percentage of Americans who belong to a religious congregation fell below 50 percent in 2020, according to a Gallup survey. This is the first time the figure has fallen below 50 percent since Gallup started asking the question in 1937. In 2020, only 47 percent of Americans aged 18 or older answered "yes" when asked, "Do you happen to be a member of a church, synagogue or mosque?"

Membership in religious congregations peaked in the years following World War II, when 76 percent of Americans aged 18 or older were members. The figure remained near the 70 percent level until the 2000s when it began a steady decline. 

Gallup notes that the decline "appears largely tied to population change, with those in older generations who were likely to be church members being replaced in the U.S. adult population with people in younger generations who are less likely to belong." Gallup has aggregated three of the most recent years of data to show membership by generation...

Member of a church, synagogue, or mosque, 2018–20 
Millennials: 36% 
Gen Gers: 50% 
Boomers: 58%
Older Americans: 66% 

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