Influence

 the shape of leadership

Regular Churchgoers Are Now a Minority

Service attendance and Christian affiliation are declining

There are now more Americans staying away from church than attending services, a new report from Pew Research Center reveals.

Just 45% of U.S. adults attend religious services at least monthly, while the majority (54%) attend no more than a few times a year, if at all. This represents a decline of 7 percentage points since 2009, when 52% of Americans attended services at least monthly.

The share of Americans identifying as Christians has also slipped over the past decade, from 77% in 2009 to 65% today.

Just half of millennials describe themselves as Christians.

Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population increased from 17% to 26% over the last decade. Within that category, atheists now account for 4% of the population, while agnostics make up 5% (up from 2% and 3%, respectively). The share of those identifying as “nothing in particular” increased from 12% to 17% between 2009 and ’19.

The Christian share of the population declined across every demographic category — regardless of gender, age, race, education level, geographic region, or political affiliation — and among both Protestants and Catholics. However, the most significant declines happened among millennials (a loss of 16 percentage points since 2009); Democrats (a loss of 17 percentage points); and those living in the Northeast (a loss of 15 percentage points).

Just half of millennials (49%) describe themselves as Christians, and 4 in 10 seldom or never attend church. By comparison, 76% of baby boomers and 80% of those born before 1946 self-identify as Christians.

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