Gallup: 69% of Americans Identify as Christian

By Michael W. Chapman | December 27, 2021 | 10:11am EST
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- Based on two 2021 polls, Gallup found that nearly 75% of Americans identify with a specific religious faith, including 69% who identify as Christian.

However, that percentage has declined from 90% who identified as Christian in 1971, some 50 years ago. In addition, formal church membership has declined since the 1970s, as well, and it has "largely been driven by younger generations of Americans," reported Gallup. 

"About one in three U.S. young adults have no religious affiliation," according to the survey firm.

For the 69% of Americans who identify as Christian, 35% are Protestant, 22% Catholic, and 12% "identify with another Christian religion or simply as a 'Christian,'" reported Gallup. 

(Gallup)
(Gallup)

Another 2% identify as Jewish, 1% Muslim, and 1% Buddhist. "Twenty-one percent of Americans said they have no religious preference," reported Gallup.

"Fifty years ago, in 1971, 90% of U.S. adults identified with a Christian religion, 6% were non-Christian or another religion, and 4% did not have a religious preference," said Gallup.  "Thus, much of the change in the U.S. has been a shift away from Christian religions to no religion at all."

Although about 75% of Americans identify with a specific religion, only 49% say that religion is "very important" in their life, according to Gallup. 

(Gallup)
(Gallup)

Church attendance continues to decline. "Asked whether they personally had attended church, synagogue, mosque or temple in the past seven days, an average of 29% of U.S. adults in 2021 reported they had done so, either in person or virtually," reported Gallup. "In 2000, 44% had gone to church in the past seven days, and in 1958, 49% had."

From the survey, Gallup found that 22% of Americans said they attend religious services "every week," and another 9% said "almost every week."

"[L]ess than half of Americans, 47%, belong to a formal house of worship," according to Gallup. "When Gallup first asked the question in 1937, 73% were members of a church, and as recently as 1999, 70% were."

(Gallup)
(Gallup)

"The decline in formal church membership has largely been driven by younger generations of Americans," reported Gallup.  "About one in three U.S. young adults have no religious affiliation. Further, many young adults who do identify with a religion nevertheless do not belong to a church. But even older adults who have a religious preference are less likely to belong to a church today than in the past."

For the survey, Gallup conducted telephone interviews "May 3-16, 2021, and Dec. 1-16, 2021, with a random sample of 1,837 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia."

To see the complete survey, click here

(Gallup.)
(Gallup.)

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