In the U.S., highly religious adults are much more skeptical about the possibility of extraterrestrial life than those who are less religious.
Since the 1990s, large numbers of Americans have left Christianity to join the growing ranks of U.S. adults who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” If recent trends in religious switching continue, Christians could make up less than half of the U.S. population within a few decades.
Highly religious Americans are much more likely to see society in those terms, while nonreligious people tend to see more ambiguity.
Self-identified Christians make up 63% of the U.S. population in 2021, down from 75% a decade ago.
Roughly two-thirds of atheists (65%) and six-in-ten agnostics (57%) either “strongly” or “somewhat” oppose the death penalty.
A median of 45% across 34 surveyed countries say it is necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values. However, public opinion on this question, as well as the role of God, prayer and religion varies by country, region and economic development.
There is a rising number of atheists in the United States. Here are some key facts about atheists in the U.S. and around the world.
Atheists and agnostics know more about religion than most other religious groups, while those with no particular religion are among the least knowledgeable.
A declining share of Canadians identify as Christians. Most Canadians say religion’s influence in public life is waning in their country.
In general, Western European countries that have a mandatory church tax aren’t any less religious than those that don’t have such a tax.
Many U.S. Christians – as well as the religiously unaffiliated – hold “New Age” beliefs, which include belief in reincarnation and astrology.