Download American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population PDF

TitleAmerican Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population
TagsAtheism Economic Growth Race And Ethnicity In The United States Race And Ethnicity In The United States Census Agnosticism
File Size566.7 KB
Total Pages29
Document Text Contents
Page 14

8 American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion PopulationAmerican Nones: The Profile of the No Religion PopulationAmerican Nones: The Profile of the No Religion PopulationAmerican Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population

Mathematically, Nones can lose a larger percentage than the religious and still grow as a percentage

of the population because they are starting as a smaller percentage of the population. Another way

to look at this is to present religious switching as a percentage of the total population. Since they

were 12 years of age, 4% of Americans switched from None to religious but 11% of Americans

switched from religious to None, a 7% imbalance favoring Nones. So long as the religious remain a

numerical majority, Nones can continue to lose a greater percentage to religion than the religious

lose to non-religion and yet still grow as a proportion of the population.



These findings suggest something very important about the Nones: While there are many inter-

generational Nones (people raised as Nones), the majority of Nones, 66%, are first-generation or

“(de) converts” to non-religion. Only 32% are second generation or longer. Since the Nones

continue to lose a considerable percentage of their population the result is that there is considerable

“churn” among the Nones – people drop out of religions and return quite frequently.



There are a couple of additional findings worth noting here. Looking at retention by gender, Nones

are more likely to retain men than women: 66% of men who reported no religion at age 12 were

Nones at the time of their participation in ARIS 2008, but only 47% of females who reported no

religion at age 12 remained Nones. Of those who reported having a religion at age 12, 15% of men

left while only 9% of women did. It appears that American women have a greater affinity for

religion than men. And conversely men have greater affinity for secularity than women.



A generational cohort analysis explains much of the recent growth in the number of Nones among

young adults. Generation X and Generation Y are the motor for this population increase but in

different ways. Generation X (born 1960-78) had a very high retention rate of Born Nones (71%)

while Generation Y (born 1979-90) has an above average rate of switching to None from a

religious identity at 12 years of age (16%).

Similer Documents