Gallup: US Belief in God Hits a New Low

It's dropped by 6% over the last 5 years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2022 9:31 AM CDT
Gallup: US Belief in God Hits a New Low
Church attendance has been decling faster than Americans' belief in God.   (Getty Images/Leo Malsam)

(Newser) – The last five years has apparently taken a big toll on Americans' belief in God—especially among the young, the liberal, and Democrats. Gallup says that in its latest poll, a new low of 81% of Americans said they believed in God, down from 87% in 2017 and from a solid 98% throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Belief fell among every category of people Gallup spoke to, by more than 10% among Democrats, liberals, and adults 18 to 29, but by only 1% among Republicans and married people. Belief in God among women fell from 90% to 83%, according to Gallup. Among men, it fell from 83% to 80%.

Gallup says it has asked Americans about their belief in God in several ways over the years, sometimes phrasing it as belief in "God or a universal spirit." The pollsters say the highest proportion of people express belief in God when it is phrased as a yes/no question. The proportion dipped significantly when respondents were given the option of saying they were unsure—and even more when they were asked if they were "convinced" that God exists. In the most recent poll, around half of those who said they believed in God said they believe God hears prayers and can intervene.

Other polls have found that while belief in a higher being has been gradually falling over the years, traditional religion is declining a lot faster, the Hill reports. Last year, Gallup said church membership had fallen below 50% for the first time to a record low of 47%, with numbers dropping sharply even among those who described themselves as religious. Gallup says confidence in organized religion has also dropped, "suggesting that the practice of religious faith may be changing more than basic faith in God." (Read more religion stories.)

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