A new Harris Poll released today reveals that only 74% of Americans believe in God, an 8% decline since 2009.
Before today, U.S. adults had remained fairly consistent in their religious beliefs — 82% of U.S. respondents previously reported that they believed there was a God since 2005.
In another decline, only 54% of Americans are now “absolutely certain” in God’s existence, a 12% decrease over the last decade.
Not all of us feel this way. The groups most likely to be certain of God’s existence are Black Americans (70%), Republicans (65%), Baby Boomers (60%), Southerners (61%), and Midwesterners (58%), as well as anyone with a high school education or less (60%).
A few other notable takeaways from the poll:
Almost a quarter of Americans (24%) believe in reincarnation
Only 1% of U.S. adults believe God is a woman, and more women than men are likely to believe that God is male (43% women, 34% men)
23% of Americans say they are “not at all” religious, a figure that has nearly doubled since 2007, when it was 12%
42% of Americans believe in ghosts, only slightly less than the 58% who believe in Hell and the Devil
The poll was conducted this past November, with 2,250 adults responding. The questions were administered by a computer, which the researchers explained led to more “accurate” data:
Other research has shown that when replying to a question administered impersonally by a computer, people are less likely to say they believe in God, or attend Church services when they really don’t. It is generally believed that surveys conducted by live interviewers tend to exaggerate the numbers of people who report the socially desirable, or less embarrassing, behaviour, and that the replies given to an online survey such as this, are more honest and therefore more accurate.
Check out some more data from the Harris Poll below.
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