American Religious Trends: Is “nothing in particular” your religion?

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series American Religious Trends

WHAT is the fastest growing religious category in America?

It’s the religiously unaffiliated, also called the “nones” because they check the “none of the above” box when asked to choose from a list of religious affiliations. But “none” is a vague designation. What does it really mean?

The religiously unaffiliated category grew from 16.1% of the American adult population in 2007 to 22.8% in 2014, according to Pew’s new survey. More than two of ten Americans now say they do not have an affiliation with an established religion.

Some of the “nones” are atheists. They disbelieve in God. Only 1.6% of the adult American population claimed to be atheists in 2007. This group almost doubled by 2014 to 3.1%.

Click this Pew graphic to read the entire report.

Click this Pew graphic to read the entire report.

Some of the “nones” are agnostic. Agnostics don’t believe or disbelieve in God. Agnostics outnumber atheists. In 2007, 2.4% of American adults claimed to be agnostic. This figure rose to 4.0% 7 years later.

Most “nones” say “nothing in particular” when asked to describe their religion. In 2007, 12.1 of American adults said “nothing in particular,” which rose to 15.8% in 2014.

 Is “nothing in particular” your religion?

Is the rise of the religiously unaffiliated good, bad, or indifferent for American society?

Do atheists and agnostics have a place in American society?

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