Friday, December 25, 2015
Percentage Of The Non-Religious Continues To Grow In U.S.
Many christians consider today to be a religious holiday -- a holiday belonging just to them. They are wrong, of course, since humans were having solstice season holidays long before christianity was invented (or any of the Abrahamic religions for that matter). As long as civilization has existed, people all over the world have celebrated this season (the point in the year when the days stop growing shorter and start growing longer).
While christmas remains the favorite holiday of most Americans, and probably will far into the future, the chart above shows a lot of that celebrating is now a secular thing. In just the last seven years, the number of people in the U.S. who identify as christian has dropped by 4.9 points (from 80.1% to 75.2%). At the same time, the percentage of non-religious people has grown by 5 points (now encompassing about a fifth of the population).
These are not new trends, but something that has been happening for decades. Each generation is less religious than the last. This is illustrated in the chart below, where it shows the religious membership of each age group. This doesn't mean the younger generations don't like christmas as much as their elders -- only that as time passes it will become more and more a secular holiday.
These charts were made from Gallup Polls done between 2008 and 2015. The sample size each year was between 170,000 and 350,000, and the large sample sizes means the margin of error was no more than 1 point.