Sep 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

America's Christian majority could end by 2070

<b style='color: #626262'>Historical</b> and <b style='color: #ff7900'>projected</b> share of Americans who identify as Christian
Data: Pew Research Center. Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Christians could fall below 50% of the U.S. population by 2070 if recent trends continue, Pew Research Center projects.

Why it matters: In 2020, about 64% of Americans, including children, were Christian, Pew says. People who are religiously unaffiliated — sometimes called religious "nones" — accounted for 30% of the U.S. population.

  • Adherents of all other religions — including Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists — totaled about 6%.

What's happening: "Since the 1990s, large numbers of Americans have left Christianity to join the growing ranks of U.S. adults who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or 'nothing in particular,'" Pew writes.

  • Depending on whether this trend slows, stops or speeds up, Pew projects the number of Christians of all ages will shrink from 64% to between 54% and 35% of all Americans by 2070.
  • "Nones" would rise from the current 30% to 34%-52% of the U.S.
  • Americans who were religiously unaffiliated — not to be confused with atheists — are projected to approach or exceed Christians in number by 2070, per four scenarios modeled by Pew.

Between the lines: "Though some scenarios are more plausible than others, the future is uncertain, and it is possible for the religious composition of the United States in 2070 to fall outside the ranges projected," researchers at Pew note.

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