Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups.
Religion is in decline in the West, and America is no exception Share this: The US is often taken to be a contrary case to the general decline of religion in the West. David Voas and Mark Chaves find that religiosity is in fact decreasing in the US, and for the same reason that it has been falling elsewhere.
They comment that Americans are not becoming less religious over their lives; rather, the more religious generations born in the early 20th century are dying off and being replaced by newer generations that are less likely to be religious. The religiosity of the United States has impressed observers since the early 19th century, and American levels of religious involvement remain strikingly high compared to those in virtually all highly developed countries.
Taken together, these two facts mean that trends in religiosity are remarkably similar across the western world. Religious affiliation, church attendance, and belief in God have all fallen in the US. None of these declines is happening fast, but the signs are now unmistakable.
The overall level of belief is being eroded as people born early in the 20th century are replaced by members of subsequent generations with weaker religious convictions. Children are raised by parents who are less religious than their parents were, and the culture is reshaped with the passing of each generation.
Figure 1 shows a good example: There is remarkable stability over the adult life course for all generations. Individuals might become more or less religious, but within generations these gains and losses largely balance out.
Figure 1 — Religious affiliation by decade of birth, Great Britain, Source: Includes white respondents aged Graph shows three-survey moving average. The basic results are the same whether we examine religious affiliation, attendance, or belief in God.
Figure 2 shows monthly attendance at religious services in the United States; the pattern is very similar to what we see in Figure 1. Gentle decline within birth cohorts during the s was followed by rising participation in the s, after which within-generation change is very minor. Churchgoing decline in the United States is driven by the same cohort replacement mechanism that drives religious change elsewhere in the West.
Figure 2 — Attendance monthly or more often by decade of birth, United States, Source: General Social Survey, Includes respondents aged born in the US.
To avoid overstating religious decline, the unusually religious GSS sample has been excluded. At least since then, strong religious affiliation, church attendance, and firm belief in God have all fallen from one birth cohort to the next. None of these declines is happening fast, and levels of religious involvement in the United States remain high by world standards.
But the signs of both aggregate decline and generational differences are now unmistakable.An ongoing spate of recent studies - looking at various countries around the world - all show the same thing: religion is in decline.
From Scandinavia to South America, and from Vancouver to Seoul, the world is experiencing an unprecedented wave of secularization.
The decline of traditional religious authority is contributing to a more revolutionary mood within black politics as well. Although African Americans remain more likely than whites to attend church, religious disengagement is growing in the black community. Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our .
May 12, · Is the American public becoming less religious? Yes, at least by some key measures of what it means to be a religious person. An extensive new survey of more than 35, U.S. adults finds that the percentages who say they believe in God, pray daily and regularly go to church or other religious services all have declined .
Christianity is on the decline in America, not just among younger generations or in certain regions of the country but across race, gender, education and geographic barriers. Religion is in decline in the West, and America is no exception Share this: The US is often taken to be a contrary case to the general decline of religion in the West.