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Gen Z Women Not More Religious than Men

For decades, we’ve thought of women as more religious than men. Survey results, conventional wisdom, and anecdotal glimpses across our own congregations have shown us how women care more about their faith, though researchers haven’t been able to fully untangle the underlying causes for the gender gap across religious traditions and across the globe.

Now, data shows the long-held trend may finally be flipping: In the United States, young women are less likely to identify with religion than young men. The findings could have a profound impact on the future of the American church.

Percentage who identified as nones in 2021:

18 to 25-year-old men – 46%

18 to 25-year-old women – 49%

40-year-old men – 45%

40-year-old women – 44%

60-year-old men – 32%

60-year-old women – 36%

65-year-old men – 25%

65-year-old women – 20%

There’s also a gender gap in church attendance. This pattern has been so stark that Pew Research Center found in 2016 that Christian women around the world are on average seven percentage points more likely than men to attend services; there are no countries where men are significantly more likely to be religiously affiliated than women.

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