Church membership across the U.S. drops below 50% for the first time in eight decades, polls finds

Dr. Mike Ghouse   March 30, 2021   Comments Off on Church membership across the U.S. drops below 50% for the first time in eight decades, polls finds
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This article was first Published on 29 March 2021 at – : https://bit.ly/2Pj26Pd

By EMILY CRANE

  • Membership at a church, synagogue or mosque across the United States reached an all-time low of 47 percent last year, the Gallup report shows 
  • Prior to 2000, membership at places of worship had mostly stayed around the 70 percent mark 
  • Gallup has been measuring the religious memberships since 1937 when it was about 73 percent 
  • It has been steadily declining over the last decade 

The number of Americans who are members of a place of worship has dropped below 50 percent for the first time in eight decades, a new report shows. 

Membership at a church, synagogue or mosque across the United States reached an all-time low of 47 percent last year, the Gallup report shows.

Prior to 2000, membership at places of worship had mostly stayed around the 70 percent mark. 

Gallup has been measuring the religious memberships since 1937 when it was about 73 percent.

Membership at a church, synagogue or mosque across the United States reached an all-time low of 47 percent last year, the Gallup report shows. Pictured is the St Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago earlier this month
Prior to 2000, membership at places of worship had mostly stayed around the 70 percent mark. It has been steadily declining over the last decade

It has been steadily declining over the last decade.  

The decline is driven by the increasing number of Americans who now say they don’t affiliate with a particular religion.

The percentage of Americans who don’t identify with a religion has grown to 21 percent in the last three years, compared to 8 percent between 1998 to 2000.

The trend also appears to be tied to age with 66 percent of people born before 1946 saying they belong to a church or place of worship.

In comparison, 36 percent of millennials said they belonged to a place of worship. Fifty-eight percent of baby boomer and 50 percent of Gen X belong to a church.

‘The US remains a religious nation, with more than seven in 10 affiliating with some type of organized religion,’ the report says.

‘However, far fewer, now less than half, have a formal membership with a specific house of worship. 

The percentage of Americans who don’t identify with a religion has grown to 21 percent in the last three years, compared to 8 percent between 1998 to 2000

‘While it is possible that part of the decline seen in 2020 was temporary and related to the COVID-10 pandemic, continued decline in future decades seems inevitable, given the much lower levels of religiosity and church membership among younger versus older generations of adults.’

Each generation has seen a decline in membership among those who do affiliate with a specific religion. 

In regards to specific religious groups, Catholics have seen the steepest decline in membership after dropping 18 percentage points.

Protestant members was down nine percentage points. 

The report noted there wasn’t sufficient data to track the decline in membership among other religions. 

The declines in membership have been greater among Democrats and those who live on the East coast, according to the report.  


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