Poll: Only Half of Americans Still Strongly Believe in God

AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek

Only half of Americans now confidently affirm the existence of God, according to the influential General Social Survey, a trend that is a testament to the attacks on Christianity and wider religion by the political left.


Less than half of the U.S. population expressed unwavering belief in God according to the 2022 survey conducted by NORC, a research organization at the University of Chicago. This is a marked drop from 2008 when the proportion of unshakeable believers exceeded 60 percent.

Church attendance is also dwindling, with a record 34 percent of Americans admitting to never attending church services. This is the highest rate reported in half a century of surveys conducted by NORC.

In a separate report from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), the number of Americans who no longer identify with any religion surged to 27 percent in 2022. This is a substantial increase from 19 percent in 2012 and 16 percent in 2006.

The PRRI report documents a significant downturn in the Christian population of the United States, particularly among white demographics. The percentage of Americans identifying as white evangelical Protestants has shrunk from 23 percent in 2006 to 14 percent. Similarly, white mainline Protestants have seen their numbers drop from 18 percent to 14 percent, while the proportion of white Catholics has fallen from 16 percent to 13 percent.


However, spirituality among Americans remains prevalent. According to NORC data, nearly three-quarters of the population believe in an afterlife — a figure that has stayed relatively unchanged over the years. Meanwhile, just seven percent of the population say with confidence that they do not believe in God.

Since the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, the proportion of Americans actively affiliated with a church, synagogue, or mosque fell below 50 percent for the first time in history as many Democratic-controlled states enforced draconian lockdown measures aimed at containing the respiratory virus.

This trend was monitored through Gallup polls, which have been recording church membership since the era of the Great Depression when over 70 percent of Americans were associated with some form of religious institution.

The downturn in faith is also observable across different generations, according to data compiled by the Survey Center on American Life. The proportion of Americans who profess no religious association increases with every younger generation: nine percent among the Silent Generation, 18 percent among Baby Boomers, 25 percent within Gen X, 29 percent for Millennials, and 34 percent in Gen Z.


The General Social Survey (GSS), a biennial survey representative of the nation, has been overseen by NORC since 1972 to observe societal evolution and investigate the increasing intricacies of American society. According to the NORC, the GSS is “second only to the U.S. Census in the number of scientific references among social science researchers and is one of the most reliable and robust sources of information in the social sciences.”

“The past three years were a period of great trial and change for the United States,” said René Bautista, director of the GSS and associate director of Methodology & Quantitative Social Sciences at NORC. “Understanding how these times affected Americans’ thoughts, beliefs, and opinions is critical to understanding social change.”


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