At the same time, respondents who consider themselves “religious” dropped from 73 percent in 2005 to 60 percent in the latest study.
“For a very long time, religiosity has been a central characteristic of the American identity,” said Ryan Cragun, a University of Tampa sociologist of religion. “But what this suggests is that is changing and people are feeling less inclined to identify as religious to comply with what it means to be a good person in the U.S.”
The results are based on interviews with 50,000 people from 57 countries and five continents.
Participants were asked, “Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are a religious person, not a religious person, or a convinced atheist?”