April 01, 2021: Forty-seven percent (47%) of Americans belong to a church, synagogue or mosque. An annual Gallup survey shows that total is down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.
Gallup first measured U.S. church membership in 1937. At that time, 73% of Americans belonged to a house of worship. That figure remained steady for six decades before declining steadily in the 21st century. This year is the first time that fewer than half of all Americans belonged to a church.
Gallup reported that "the decline in membership is steeper among Catholics (down 18 points, from 76% to 58%) than Protestants (down nine points, from 73% to 64%)."
Gallup also reported that "declines in church membership are proportionately smaller among political conservatives, Republicans, married adults and college graduates." Declines have been greater among residents of the eastern U.S. and Democrats.
Political independents have lower rates of church membership than either Republicans or Democrats.
- Gallup, "U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time," March 29, 2021
Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen's Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author. Scott Rasmussen's Number of the Day is published by Ballotpedia weekdays at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author. Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System," "In Search of Self-Governance," and "The People's Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt." Read Scott Rasmussen's Reports — More Here.
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