2012 Pew Research Results on American Religious Affiliation
The Pew Research Center has released the 2012 results further marking the rise of the non-affiliated (otherwise colloquially known as the “nones”; cf. “’Nones’ on the Rise”). Though there is a documented decline in religious affiliation here in the States, I am perturbed by how the U.S. lines up with other countries. For example, compared to Britain, France, Germany, and Spain, the U.S. has a substantially higher belief that God is necessary for morality (though, nowhere near as high as countries like Egypt and Jordan). (cf. “Being Good for Goodness Sake”)
There is a noticeable increase of non-affiliation by what the Pew Research team refers to as the “younger Millennials” (born 1990-1994).
Check out the results:
They do a bit of speculation as to why the so-called “younger Millennials” have so markedly identified themselves as non-affiliated. You can read those here. I was a little disappointed that technology wasn’t mentioned. These younger Millennials were born at the time the personal computer became nearly universally attainable by the working family—and I swear some were born with 1st generation Game Boy’s attached to their hips! They have had access to more information at an earlier age than could ever be said of earlier generations; more opinions, more opposing perspectives, and more means of evaluating all of the information. I haven’t examined any research on this, but its seems prima facie plausible that such access to information has a greater secularizing effect than not. Especially imagine the situation with zealous evangelical parents who enforce their ideology. One has a better chance of breaking that mold with an outlet like the Internet which gives them access to a multitude of opinions and critiques, as opposed to lacking such an outlet.
There’s much more that could be said, but I’d rather let you see the research for yourself. I just wanted the opportunity to photo-bomb. Thanks.