Americans are going to church less, poll finds

A poll found U.S. church membership has fallen below the majority for the first time.
A poll found U.S. church membership has fallen below the majority for the first time.(StockSnap from Pixabay via canva)
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 3:44 PM CDT
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(Gray News) - Americans’ church membership is at its lowest numbers in years.

According to a poll from Gallup, memberships to houses of worship continued to decline last year and dropped below 50% for the first time in Gallup’s eight-decade trend.

In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.

Researchers with Gallup said U.S. church membership was 73% when they first measured such numbers in 1937. Church membership remained near 70% for the next six decades, before beginning a steady decline around the turn of the 21st century.

Gallup reports the decline in church membership is primarily a function of the increasing number of Americans who express no religious preference.

Over the past two decades, the percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religion has grown from 8% in 1998-2000 to 13% in 2008-2010 and 21% over the past three years.

Gallup also reported it found declines in church membership when it comes to the younger generations but less of a drop among Republicans, as well as married adults and college graduates.

Church membership was found to be the highest among those groups, people who live in the South and Black adults.

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