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Which Religions Are Most Prevalent in the U.S.?

The United States has long been a melting pot for different ideas, cultures and religions. Since its inception it was founded as a haven for persecuted religious believers, and that spirit has stayed intact to this day. Many more diverse settlers have arrived since that time, though. Here is a breakdown of the current most prevalent religious practices throughout the U.S.

Christianity

Christianity remains, far and away the most popular religion in the United States, though it has decreased in prevalence somewhat over the last several years. In 2004, 78.4% of survey respondents claimed to be practicing some type of Christianity, while in 2014 that number was down to just 70.6%, reflecting a -7.8% change. Of those Christians surveyed in 2014, 46.5% are Protestant, with 25.4% of those Protestants identifying as Evangelical, 14.7% identifying as Mainline, and 6.5% identifying as Historically Black. Catholics made up 20.8% of the Christianity vote, Mormons 1.6%, Orthodox Christians 0.5%, Jehovah’s witnesses 0.8%, and “other” 0.4%. All of these separate sections showed some amount of decline since 2007, the greatest of which was in the general Protestant category with a -4.8% change. Catholics also suffered a -3.1% change.

Judaism

The number of Jewish respondents actually showed a slight increase. It rested at 1.7% of respondents in 2007 and is now up to 1.9% of respondents.

Islam

Muslims saw a statistically significant increase of +0.5% in the last 7 years, bringing their numbers up from 0.4% to 0.9%.

Buddhism

Buddhists remained constant, clocking in at 0.7% in both years.

Hinduism

Also showing statistically significant increases, Hindus rose from 0.4% of the population in 2007 to 0.7% in 2014, a change of +0.3%.

Other

Two categories were presented for respondents of “other” belief systems. The first, “other world religions” came out to 0.3% of the population, which included Sikhs, Taoists, Bahai’s, and others, while the other, “other faiths”, came to a relatively large 1.5% which included Unitarians, New Age religions, Native American religions, and other non-Christian faiths.

Unaffiliated

This category is distinct from the “other” category and is designed for those without a religious belief system. This category as a whole has seen an absolutely shocking amount of growth over the past 7 years, rising nearly 7 whole percentage points. In 2007, the number of unaffiliated respondents measure 16.1% while in 2014 it came to a whopping 22.8%, for a total change of +6.7% in that amount of time. There are three separate subcategories in this sections including Atheists, which went from 1.6% to 3.1%, Agnostics, which rose from 2.4% to 4.0% even, and “Nothing in particular” which accounted for much of the vote, being 12.1% and 15.8%, respectively.