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For decades, the percentage of U.S. adults who claimed to have no religious identity was on the rise, and it seemed inevitable that the trend would continue. That may not be the case.

Several recent studies now suggest that the so-called “nones” (those who claim no religious affiliation) may be in decline. If true, this would reverse a decades long trend.

Gallup data from the 1950s showed that just 1% of American adults claimed no religious identity in the 1950s. That grew to more than 20% in recent years.

Two recent studies, one from Gallup and the other from Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), show a slight drop off in those who say they have no religious ties.

A May 2021 Gallup survey found that only 16% of Americans said they had no religious affiliations – down from 21% over the last few years. The PRRI survey found a drop from 25.5% in 2018 to 23.3% in 2020.

Social scientists define nones as more than just atheists or agnostics. This group also includes those who claim to be “spiritual but not religious” and “inactive believers,” who don’t practice their faith.

Gallup research shows that a nontrivial percentage of nones say religion is at least fairly important in their lives, and Pew Research similarly concluded that “a significant minority of ‘nones’ say that religion plays a role in their lives.”

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Number of Americans who claim no religious ties may be declining

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Jen says:

    During America’s 1950s where majority had recieved Christ, The question is what was their parents doing in the home in the 1920s and at the Church to had influenced their adult children in the 1950s to also continue the faith of their parents? Where did the 1950s parents go wrong dropping the baton of passing the Faith on to their children and grandchildren?

  • James says:

    The last 2 years has been a wake-up call for a lot of people. Evil stepped out of the shadows and started operating openly.

  • Sharon Alice Turner says:

    Most “born again/saved Christians have learned the most important thing. It is relationship to Father God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (fully man, fully God, ” In the beginning WAS the Word.. not organized religion, thousands of “religions”. But we have the one relationship with God, through our daily walk with Jesus Christ. Do not make it more complicated. Fellowship yes. Share Jesus with others – definitely. “if you love me you will keep My Fathers’ Commands. walk or work out your own salvation. Grandma