Pew: U.S. Mormon Population Holds Steady as Other Faiths Decline

People pray during The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' twice-annual church conference Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, in Salt Lake City. President Russell M. Nelson has rolled out a dizzying number of policy changes during his first two years at the helm of the faith, leading to heightened anticipation …
Rick Bowmer/AP Photo

U.S. Catholics and Protestant Christians have declined significantly over the last ten years, the Pew Research Center revealed, while Mormonism has held remarkably strong over the same period.

The percentage of Americans who identify as Mormons has held rock steady over the past decade at two percent of the U.S. adult population, Pew found, while Christianity in general has plunged by 12 percentage points to its lowest level in U.S. history.

In its most recent, comprehensive study, Pew found that Christianity in the United States is declining at an unprecedented rate, and the percentage of Christians in the country has hit an all-time low.

From 2009 to 2019, the percentage of U.S. adults that identify as Christians dropped by a striking 12 percent, Pew found, from 77 percent to just 65 percent, and now Christianity stands at the lowest point in the nation’s 243-year history.

Protestantism and Catholicism have both suffered significant losses, with the number of Protestants dropping from 51 percent in 2009 to just 43 percent today, while the number of Catholics has fallen from nearly a quarter of the population (23 percent) to just one-in-five (20 percent) since 2009.

During the same period, however, Mormons have been resilient, holding fast at two percent of the population.

Likewise, the portion of U.S. adults who identify with non-Christian faiths has increased slightly, from five percent in 2009 to seven percent in 2019. Jews, for example, have held strong at a steady two percent of the population, while Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus have also managed to maintain a constant one percent of the population in the same period.

The number of religious “nones” — those who self-identify as atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular” — has shot up by a remarkable 17 percent during the same period, and this group now makes up more than a quarter of the population (26 percent).

Meanwhile, the number of atheists in the country has doubled since 2009, from just two percent of the population to the current four percent, and agnostics now make up five percent of the adult population, up from just three percent in 2009.

The number of those who describe their religion as “nothing in particular” has jumped from 12 percent to 17 percent in this ten-year period.


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