January 11, 2013
Are the "Nones" Still Rising?
2012 was nearly a flatline year for the religiously unaffiliated.
Out of Ur has long been part of the conversation about the growing population of religiously unaffiliated “nones” in America. If you're new to the term, "nones" do not identify as religious when polled, and have been a steadily growing demographic in the US, drawing particular attention from analysts and the media over the past few years. (Read two of our past posts covering this trend here and here.)
But last year at least, the steady climb slowed to a crawl. According to a recent Gallup report,
The percentage of American adults who have no explicit religious identification averaged 17.8% in 2012, up from 14.6% in 2008—but only slightly higher than the 17.5% in 2011. The 2011 to 2012 uptick in religious "nones" is the smallest such year-to-year increase over the past five years of Gallup Daily tracking of religion in America.
This report comes close on the release of Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport’s new book, God is Alive and Well: The Future of Religion in America. The title focuses on growth signs in American religious life, and predicts that America may see a future “religious renaissance.”
For now though, whether the trend is truly stalling remains to be seen.
Ideas about why 2012 flattened out these numbers? Please share in the comments.