No Longer a US Majority: Protestants
One-fifth of US doesn't identify with any traditional religion
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Oct 9, 2012 6:41 AM CDT
Updated Oct 9, 2012 7:30 AM CDT
Just 48% of the US is now Protestant, a study says.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The US population is no longer dominated by Protestants, a Pew study finds: They account for just 48% of us. And while 79% of the US remains affiliated with a traditional religious group, nearly a fifth of American adults—and a third of those under 30—don't identify with any single traditional denomination. That doesn't mean they're not religious, the Washington Post notes; plenty pray and have religious routines. This group is chock full of Democrats: 68% support the party, making up its biggest faith constituency.

Indeed, the study shows how closely religious and political affiliations have become intertwined. Some 24% of Democrats are in the "no traditional religion" group, the study finds, while 34% of Republicans are white evangelicals. In the past, the Post notes, congregations were politically diverse; not so much today. In fact, Americans tend to choose where to worship based on political leanings, instead of the other way around, according to sociologists. As for the trend away from traditional religion among under-30s, "we think it's a reaction to the religious right," says an expert, noting that conservative opposition to gay rights is a key driver of religious choices. Still, "religion as a whole in America has been astonishingly resilient."

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Showing 3 of 148 comments
right2dave
Oct 10, 2012 9:28 AM CDT
In research the answers you get depend upon the question you ask. You can skew the information anyway you like. The majority of Americans even those under 30 consider themselves Christians. But that was not the question they were asked was it?
ssw
Oct 10, 2012 4:59 AM CDT
"As for the trend away from traditional religion among under-30s, "we think it's a reaction to the religious right," says an expert, noting that conservative opposition to gay rights is a key driver of religious choices." Do you really think that conservative opposition to gay rights REALLY is a key driver of this!? The media makes silly, simpleton analysis of such things. How about opposing the conservative behavior in general for at least the last 4 years? The bullying, the fantasy thinking, The hypocrisy, the 'no shame' that the ends justify the means. It has me really turned off to the idea of any kind of respect for the religious leanings of this group in general. Certainly not reduced to one limited issue such as gay rights. There is very little to believe these folks are attractive as far as their espoused religion is concerned!
HANKHILL
Oct 9, 2012 9:41 PM CDT
so what? fewer protestants less money, thats all no big deal!