Belief in Five Spiritual Entities Edges Down to New Lows
Belief in God, angels, heaven, hell and the devil has declined in the US since 2001.
However, a majority of US adults still believe in each entity.
Regular churchgoers, Protestants and Republicans are the most likely to believe in these entities.
Belief in these entities has declined among most subgroups, but has held relatively steady among weekly and nearly weekly or monthly church attendees, Protestants, and Republicans.
Summary of key findings:
- Belief in God has declined by 16 percentage points since 2001, to 74%.
- Belief in heaven has declined by 16 percentage points, to 67%.
- Belief in hell has declined by 12 percentage points, to 59%.
- Belief in the devil has declined by 10 percentage points, to 58%.
- Belief in angels has declined by 10 percentage points, to 69%.
- Protestants are more likely than Catholics to believe in each of the five entities.
- Frequent churchgoers are more likely than infrequent churchgoers to believe in each of the five entities.
- Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe in each of the five entities.
- Adults with annual household incomes under $40,000 are more likely than those with incomes of at least $100,000 to believe in each of the entities.
- Adults aged 55 and older are more likely than those aged 18 to 34 to believe in each of the entities.
- Women are more likely than men to believe in all of the spiritual concepts except for the devil.
- Adults without a college degree are more likely than college graduates to believe in each of the five entities.
The decline in belief in these entities has been most pronounced among young adults, non-whites, and people with no religious affiliation. However, even among these groups, a majority of people still believe in at least some of these entities.
The findings suggest that while belief in God and other spiritual entities is declining in the US, it remains a significant part of American culture. Regular churchgoers, Protestants, and Republicans are the most likely to believe in these entities, and their belief has remained relatively stable over time.
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