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Belief in God in US Drops to Record Low

The vast majority of US adults believe in God, but the 81% who do so is down six percentage points from 2017 and is the lowest in Gallup's trend. Between 1944 and 2011, more than 90% of Americans believed in God. Gallup's May 2022 Values and Beliefs poll finds 17% of Americans saying they do not believe in God.

Gallup first asked this question in 1944, repeating it again in 1947 and twice each in the 1950s and 1960s. In those latter four surveys, a consistent 98% said they believed in God. When Gallup asked the question nearly five decades later, in 2011, 92% of Americans said they believed in God.

A subsequent survey in 2013 found belief in God dipping below 90% to 87%, roughly where it stood in three subsequent updates between 2014 and 2017 before this year's drop to 81%.

The groups with the largest declines are liberals (62%), young adults (68%), and Democrats (72%). Belief in God is highest among political conservatives (94%) and Republicans (92%), reflecting that religiosity is a major determinant of political divisions in the US.

The bottom line is that fewer Americans today, than five years ago, believe in God, and the percentage is down even more from the 1950s and 1960s when almost all Americans did. Still, the vast majority of Americans believe in God. And while belief in God has declined in recent years, Gallup has documented steeper drops in church attendance, church membership, and confidence in organized religion, suggesting that the practice of religious faith may be changing more than basic faith in God.

Source:

Jeffrey Jones, “Belief in God in U.S. Dips to 81%, a New Low,” Gallup.com (6-17-22)

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