A new study finds a slow decline in American religiosity over time, demonstrating that religion in the United States is declining and mirroring patterns found across the western world.
The new research shows that contrary to anecdotal evidence, the United States is no different than other modern societies in the inevitable move towards secularization.
According to the new research from UCL and Duke University published in the March 2016 edition of the American Journal of Sociology, there is a slow, steady drop in the number of Americans who claim religious affiliations, attend church regularly and believe in God.
The study, titled βIs the United States a Counterexample to the Secularization Thesis?β, also finds that these drops are driven by generational differences. For example:
94 percent of Americans born before 1935 claim a religious affiliation. For the generation born after 1975, that number drops to 71 percent.
68 percent of Americans 65 and older said they had no doubt God exists, according to the study. But just 45 percent of young adults, ages 18-30, had the same belief.
41 percent of people 70 and older said they attend church services at least once a month, compared to just 18 percent of people 60 and younger.
Younger cohorts are less religious than older cohorts and religiosity declines in each cohort over time.