Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Religion Losing Influence in America

An increasing number of Americans believe that religion is losing its influence on American life. Today, fully two-thirds (67%) say religion is losing influence, compared with 59% who said this in 2006. Just a quarter of the public (23%) say religion is increasing its influence in American life, while 4% say its influence has not changed. As has been the case in past surveys, most of those who say that religion has less influence on American life see this as a bad thing; 53% of the total public says this is a bad thing while just 10% see it as a good thing. Republicans are notably more likely to say religion is losing influence than they were in 2006. Today, an overwhelming 82% of Republicans say religion is losing influence in American life; 61% said this four years ago. Independents are also more likely to say religion is losing influence in American life (65% now; 56% in 2006), while Democrats are less likely to say so, though, a majority still agrees (58% now; 60% in 2006). Majorities of Protestants (70%), Catholics (71%) and the religiously unaffiliated (62%) all agree that religion is losing influence on American life, with white evangelical Protestants (79%) the most likely to agree with the statement. Read More