The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life released a new report, “The Global Religious Landscape,” which provides a comprehensive look at religious affiliation by country and worldwide. (Link to the report) Some of its highlights are given below.
- Men are significantly more likely than women to claim no religious affiliation. Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation, compared with roughly 13% of women.
- Among people who are married, nearly four-in-ten (37%) are married to a spouse with a different religious affiliation. (This figure includes Protestants who are married to another Protestant from a different denominational family, such as a Baptist who is married to a Methodist.) Hindus and Mormons are the most likely to be married (78% and 71%, respectively) and to be married to someone of the same religion (90% and 83%, respectively).
- Mormons and Muslims are the groups with the largest families; more than one-in-five Mormon adults and 15% of Muslim adults in the U.S. have three or more children living at home.
- The Midwest most closely resembles the religious makeup of the overall population.
- The South, by a wide margin, has the heaviest concentration of members of evangelical Protestant churches. The Northeast has the greatest concentration of Catholics, and the West has the largest proportion of unaffiliated people, including the largest proportion of atheists and agnostics.
- Of all the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States, black Americans are the most likely to report a formal religious affiliation. Even among those blacks who are unaffiliated, three-in-four belong to the “religious unaffiliated” category (that is, they say that religion is either somewhat or very important in their lives), compared with slightly more than one-third of the unaffiliated population overall.
In the audio – Demographer Conrad Hackett explains why the media age of a person can be crucial to seeing which religions are gaining followers and which are losing their faithful, either to death or conversion or migration.
This survey also has a strong bearing on the direction of power and elections in the US in the decades to come. We have seen how the Republicans have lost two elections, specifically the last one due to the demographic shifts and their inability to reach out to the different sections.
This political gap is bound to widen.