Number of Americans with no religious affiliation continues to increase

U.S. & World

FILE – In this Tuesday, April 11, 2017 file photo, the sun sets on a Baptist church in Georgia. According to new data released Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, by the Pew Research Center, the portion of Americans with no religious affiliation is rising significantly, in tandem with a sharp drop in the percentage that identifies as Christian. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The portion of Americans with no religious affiliation is rising significantly, in tandem with a sharp drop in the percentage that identifies as Christians.

That’s according to new data released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

Based on telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, Pew said that 65% of American adults now describe themselves as Christian, down from 77% in 2009. Meanwhile, the portion that describes their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.

Both Protestant and Roman Catholic ranks are losing population share, according to Pew. It said 43% of U.S. adults identify as Protestants, down from 51% in 2009, while 20% are Catholic, down from 23% in 2009.

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