March of the Nones: Are “nones” born—or are they made?

Origins of nones religious affiliation
How does a none—a person with no religious affiliation—become a none?

Did nones grow up in a household of nones? Were they socialized to be nones by their parents? Did they have a religious affiliation when they were young but dropped it when they became adults?
The vast majority of nones were raised in a religious home, according to the American Religious Identification Survey. More than 80% of nones had one or both parents who identified with a religion. Of these, most had parents who identified with the same religion.

Only 17% of nones today were raised in a home where neither parent identified with a religion.

Being a none, it seems, is a decision—one that rejects or discounts parental influences.
That decision is made early. More than 32% of nones today were nones when they were only 12 years old.
Former Catholics make up a big portion of nones—24% of nones today said they were Catholic when they were 12.

Deciding to be a none is not a lifelong commitment. There is plenty of churn as people move in and out of religions through the course of their lives.

If you are not affiliated with a religion—and you consider yourself a none—what factors played into your decision?
    If you are affiliated with organized religion, have you ever been tempted to shuck it all and join the growing March of the Nones?

CARE TO READ MORE? Scholars and religious leaders everywhere are fascinated by this week’s topic. has just published an interview with Harvard’s Dr. Harvey Cox, who shares some of his conclusions about these trends.

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