Home > culture, religion > More Nones Now Than Ever

More Nones Now Than Ever

September 23, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

abstract web from Linda keagleWho or what is a none you may be asking?  From a study just released by Trinity College on data from the American Religious Identification Survey 2008

Who exactly are the Nones? “None” is not a movement, but a label for a diverse group of people who do not identify with any of the myriad of religious options in the American religious marketplace – the irreligious, the unreligious, the anti-religious, and the anti-clerical. Some believe in God; some do not. Some may participate occasionally in religious rituals; others never will.

How many Nones are there?

  • The Nones increased from 8.1% of the U.S. adult population in 1990 to 15% in 2008 and from 14 to 34 million adults
  • Whereas Nones are presently 15% of the total adult U.S. population, 22% of Americans aged 18-29 years self-identify as Nones
  • Nones are significantly younger than the general population: 30% are under age 30 and only 5% are 70 years or older (see Figure 1.2). The median age of adult Nones is 41 years, compared to 46 years in the
    general U.S. population
  • Whereas 19% of American men are Nones only 12% of American women are Nones
  • More than 1 in 5 people in certain regions (the West, New England) are Nones.  Vermont is #1 with 34% of the population declaring themselves to be Nones, New Hampshire at 29%, California at 18%.  12% of Texans are Nones and only 5% of those from Mississippi admit they are nones.

Abstract window from linda keagleA few points from the Conclusion

  • There is a variety of belief in God among the Nones, ranging from theism to atheism, though the largest proportion (59%) is agnostic or deist. Nones are not particularly superstitious or partial to New Age beliefs.
  • Nones are more accepting of human evolution than the general U.S. population.
  • Nones do not seeminterested in religious rites of passage, like baptisms, religious marriage, or religious funerals.
  • American Nones embrace philosophical and theological beliefs that reflect skepticism rather than overt antagonism toward religion.
  • If current trends continue and cohorts of non-religious young people replace older religious people, the likely outcome is that in two decades the Nones could account for around one-quarter of the American population.

Since the full report is 24 pages (but does include a lot of nice charts), you may want to look at the shorter  USA story on this or from U.S. New and World Report.  I found this on the Religion News Blog

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