Christians could make up less than half of Americans in 50 years, report finds

In the report, Pew Research Center modeled several hypothetical scenarios describing how...
In the report, Pew Research Center modeled several hypothetical scenarios describing how religion in the U.S. might change over the next 50 years.(TheDigitalArtist/pixabay via Canva)
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 2:59 PM MDT
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(Gray News) – Christians could make up less than half of the United States population by 2070 if recent religious trends continue, according to a new report published Tuesday.

In the report, Pew Research Center modeled several hypothetical scenarios describing how religion in the U.S. might change over the next 50 years.

Based on Pew’s findings, if religious switching continues at recent rates, Christians could decrease from making up 64% of the current population to somewhere between 35-54% by 2070.

Over that same period, Pew estimates people who are religiously unaffiliated would rise from the current 30% to somewhere between 34-52% of the U.S. population.

As of 2020, Christians made up 64% of Americans (including children), religiously unaffiliated people made up 30%, and adherents of all other religions (including Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists) made up 6%.

Pew said the research is based on patterns observed over recent decades through 2019. Data shows that 31% of people who are raised Christian become unaffiliated between ages 15-29, and an additional 7% become unaffiliated after age 30.

Pew said the ages of 15-29 is the “tumultuous period” in which religious switching is concentrated.

The report emphasizes that these findings are just possibilities based on recent trends and are not meant as predictions of what will happen for certain.