NOW Home Page
Politics & Economy
Science & Health
Arts & Culture
Society & Community
TV Schedule
For Educators
Topic Index
Stained-glass window
Society and Community:
Faith in America
More on This Story:
Facts and Stats

It has become something of a journalistic commonplace to refer to the United States as one of the most religious nations in the world. What are the numbers surrounding religion in the United States?

Where do Americans Put Their Faith?

Americans still attend religious services much more often than do their European counterparts. But the number of Americans who label themselves non-religious is growing.

How do people feel about religion and their political leaders? A recent Pew Foundation study found that while people want their leaders to be religious — they don't want them to talk about it. Who's going to church, the mosque, the synagogue, or increasingly, other places of worship?

Religion in the United States

% of Americans who view themselves as religious:  86.8
% of Americans who regularly attend a worship service:  57
% of French, U.K. and Israeli citizens who attend services:  15/10/25
% of Americans who view it as important for presidential candidates to be strongly religious:  70
% of Americans who are very uncomfortable when presidential candidates express how religious they are:  50
% Americans who identify themselves as Christian in 1947 and 2001  89/82
Growth in % of U.S. population identifying as non-religious 1990-2000:  +110
Growth in % of U.S. population identifying as Buddhist/Hindu/Muslim 1990-2000:  +170/+237/+109
Sources: The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life; U.S. Census 2002; The Gallup Organization, Greg Easterbrook, Religion in America;, Brookings Review, Jan. 1, 2002. is an excellent source for statistics on religion worldwide.

Related Stories:

about feedback pledge © Public Affairs Television. All rights reserved.