The number of Americans who identify themselves as Christians has dropped significantly over the past 20 years — while 15 percent of U.S. residents now say they have “no” religion, a newly released survey reveals.
Researchers at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., conducted surveys and 1990, 2001, and last year, and found that the percentage of Americans who say they are Christians fell from 86 percent in 1990 to 76 percent last year.
Americans who identify themselves as mainline Protestants, including Methodists and Lutherans, now comprise 13 percent of the population, down from 19 percent in 1990, while the number of people who describe themselves as generically “Protestant” fell from around 17 million two decades ago to 5 million last year.
The number of Americans who describe themselves as “nondenominational,” meanwhile, has soared from 194,000 in 1990 to more than 8 million in the new survey, which questioned more than 54,000 respondents, the Washington Post reported.
The only group that grew in every American state since 2001 is those who say they have “no” religion, up from 14.2 percent in 2001 to 15 percent last year.
The new survey also found that 44 percent of adult Christians in the U.S. say they are born again or evangelical, as do 18 percent of Catholics.
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