Gallup: Liberals, Democrats, Grad Students, Easterners More Likely to be Atheists

June 6, 2011 - 1:58 PM

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve by Titian (Wikimedia Commons image)

(CNSNews.com) - When the Founding Fathers declared America’s independence from Great Britain, they founded the United States with a declaration that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.

Two hundred and thirty-five years later, according to a new Gallup poll, the vast majority of Americans continue to believe in God. But self-identified liberals, Democrats, Independents, people with post-graduate educations, and Easterners are less likely to say they believe in God than conservatives, Republicans, people without post-graduate educations and Americans from the South, West and Midwest.

Young adults between the ages of 18-29 are also less likely to say they believe in God than Americans over 30.

Gallup surveyed 1,018 American adults from May 5-8. It asked 530 of these Americans “Do you believe in God?” and 488 of them “Do you believe in God or a universal spirit?”

Ninety-two percent of the first group said they believed in God, and 91 percent of the second group said they believed in God or a universal spirit.

Seven percent of the first group said they did not believe in God and 8 percent of the second group said they did not believe in God or a universal spirit.

In both groups, only 1 percent said they had no opinion on the matter.

When the combined results for both questions were broken down demographically certain patterns emerged.

98 percent of self-identified conservatives and 91 percent of moderates said they believed in God, but only 85 percent of liberals.

98 percent of self-identified Republicans said they believed in God, but only 90 percent of Democrats and 89 percent of Independents.

96 percent of Southerners, 92 percent of Westerners, and 91 percent of Midwesterners said they believed in God, but only 86 percent of Easterners.

94 percent of college graduates said they believed in God, but only 87 percent of those with a post-graduate education.

94 percent of Americans between 30 and 49 years of age, 50 and 64 years of age, and 65 and older said they believed in God, but only 84 percent of those between 18 and 29 said they did.

Belief in God in the United States was almost universal until at least the late 1960s. According to historical Gallup polling numbers, 98 percent of Americans said they believe in God in surveys conducted in 1953, 1954, 1965 and 1967.

In 1967, only 1 percent of Americans said they did not believe in God.