When it comes to religion, the USA is now land of the freelancers. The percentage of people who call themselves in some way Christian has dropped more than 11% in a generation. The faithful have scattered out of their traditional bases: The Bible Belt is less Baptist. The Rust Belt is less Catholic. And everywhere, more people are exploring spiritual frontiers — or falling off the faith map completely.And as the following graph indicates, those who identify themselves as having "no religion" are up in EVERY SINGLE STATE:
These dramatic shifts in just 18 years are detailed in the new American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), to be released today. It finds that, despite growth and immigration that has added nearly 50 million adults to the U.S. population, almost all religious denominations have lost ground since the first ARIS survey in 1990.
Of course this is nothing new. The current religious landscape of America would be virtually unrecognizable by our founders, who were accustomed to a nation with very few Catholics and a concentration of Episcopalian, Quaker and Congregational denominations.
For more graphs demonstrating the decline in religious belief click here.