PewResearchCenter

A Pew forum on religion & public life Report

Religion Among the Millennials
Less Religiously Active Than Older Americans, But Fairly Traditional In Other Ways

MILLENNIALS
A PORTRAIT OF GENERATION NEXT

February 2010

About the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
This report was produced by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. The Pew Forum conducts surveys, demographic analyses and other social science research on important aspects of religion and public life in the U.S. and around the world. As part of the Washingtonbased Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan, nonadvocacy organization, the Pew Forum does not take positions on any of the issues it covers or on policy debates. Funding for the Pew Forum is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts. This publication is part of a Pew Research Center report series that looks at the values, attitudes and experiences of America’s next generation: the Millennials. Find out how today’s teens and twenty-somethings are reshaping the nation at: www.pewresearch.org/millennials. This report was written by Allison Pond, Gregory Smith and Scott Clement, and reflects the input and analysis of the following individuals: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Luis Lugo, Director Research Alan Cooperman, Associate Director, Research Gregory Smith, Senior Researcher Allison Pond, Research Associate Scott Clement, Research Analyst Editorial Sandra Stencel, Associate Director, Editorial Diana Yoo, Graphic Designer Tracy Miller, Editor Hilary Ramp, Assistant Editor Communications and Web Publishing Erin O’Connell, Associate Director, Communications Mary Schultz, Communications Manager Oliver Read, Web Manager Robert Mills, Communications Associate Liga Plaveniece, Program Coordinator Pew Research Center Andrew Kohut, President Paul Taylor, Executive Vice President Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research Michael Keegan, Graphics Director Alicia Parlapiano, Infographic Designer

Visit http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=510 for the online presentation of Religion Among the Millennials. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life 1615 L St., NW, Suite 700 Washington, D.C. 20036-5610 Phone (202) 419-4550 Fax (202) 419-4559 www.pewforum.org © 2010 Pew Research Center

RELIGION AMONG THE MILLENNIALS
Table of Contents
Introduction and Overview ........................................................................................ 1 Religious Affiliation ..................................................................................................... 3 Worship Attendance ................................................................................................... 6 Other Religious Practices ........................................................................................... 8 Religious Attitudes and Beliefs ................................................................................ 10 Social and Culture War Issues ................................................................................. 18 More Information ...................................................................................................... 25 Appendix .................................................................................................................... 26

org 1 . Young People Less Religiously Affiliated Percent unaffiliated with a religion. Indeed. And compared with their elders today. Young adults also attend religious services less often than older Americans today. fewer young people say that religion is very important in their lives. by generation 40 % 30 % 26 20 % 20 20 13 10 % 13 8 6 3 0% Early ’70s Late ’70s Early ’80s Late ’80s Early ’90s Late ’90s Early ’00s Late ’00s 5 Source: General Social Surveys. Millennials are significantly more unaffiliated than members of Generation X were at a comparable point in their life cycle (20% in the late 1990s) and twice as unaffiliated as Baby Boomers were as young adults (13% in the late 1970s).pewforum. some other religion or no religion? Millennial (born 1981 or later) Gen X (born 1965-80) Boomer (born 1946-64) Silent (born 1928-45) Greatest (born before 1928) Indicates point when generations were at comparable ages Introduction and Overview www. Fully one-in-four members of the Millennial generation -. They also are less likely to be affiliated than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations were when they were young. Americans ages 18 to 29 are considerably less religious than older Americans.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials Introduction and Overview By some key measures. Jewish. Catholic.so called because they were born after 1980 and began to come of age around the year 2000 -.are unaffiliated with any particular faith. Question Wording: What is your religious preference? Is it Protestant. Fewer young adults belong to any particular faith than older people do today.

Pew Research Center surveys show.130 1. Social Surveys and Gallup surveys are used primarily for cohort analyses. depending on the detail in the remainder of this report by the Pew year of the survey being analyzed. as well as somewhat more comfortable with involvement in politics by churches and other houses of worship. That is. This suggests that some of the religious who said the same in prior decades. by Decade Among adults ages 1829 in the… 1980s 1990s 2000s 41 40 45 59 60 55 100 100 100 decades. for instance. which compare young adults today with previous generations when they were in their 20s and early 30s. exact question wording and results vary from survey to survey. These and other findings are discussed in more in the present-day analyses. And though Question wording: About how often do you pray? differences between younger and olderadults Americans belief in God is lower among young than [RESPONSE CATEGORIES INCLUDE: Several times a day. less among older adults. never.similar the number of young they 2.overlap between the two approaches. WED. resemble the beliefs of older people today.org 2 .679 pray every day rivals the portion of young people Source: General Social Surveys decade ago. Millennials Pew Research Center surveys show. which are used primarily to compare religion as they age. General say they believe in God with absolute certainty at In their social and political views.pewforum. hell and miracles closely resemble the beliefs of older people today.Yet in other ways.224 1. While the surveys explore similar topics.] in God with absolute certainty at rates similar to from people’s tendency toXers placeagreater emphasis on religion as they age. EST. And they are slightly more supportive than their elders of government efforts to protect morality. Though Pray daily Pray less often young adults pray less often than their elders do rates to those seen adults amongwho Gensay Xers a N today. Millennials are no less convinced than their elders that there are absolute standards of right and wrong. young adults with older adults today. Millennials remain fairly traditional in their religious beliefs and practices. Introduction and Overview www. Present-day comparisons are made between adults ages 18-29 and those age 30 and older. for instance. EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A. Millennials fairly traditional in their religious and practices. several times a week. There is significant -. the cohort analyses define generations based on respondents’ year of birth.but not complete -. It explores the degree to which the religious of Generation X (defined here as those characteristics and social views of young adults born between 1965 and 1980) and not true differ from those of older people today. generational Millennials say believe today are not entirely but they result in part than once a week. once a week. those seen among Gen decade ago. By contrast. portion of young people whobeliefs said the same in prior Daily Prayer Among Young Adults. This A Note on Sources and Methods suggests that some of the religious differences between younger and older Americans today are This report is based on data from a variety not entirely generational but result in part from of sources. that young adults’ beliefs about life Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials after death and the existence of heaven.M. some in the Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public 18-29 age group are actually young members Life. 17TH generations when they were young.. as well members of the Millennial Generation (defined 2 as how Millennials compare with previous here as those born after 1980). And though belief in God is lower among that young adults’ beliefs about life after death and the existence of heaven. Though young adults pray less often than their elders do today. young adults are clearly more accepting than older Americans of homosexuality. the number of young who say they pray everyremain day rivals the Yet inadults other ways. At the same time. including Pew Research Center people’s tendency to place greater emphasis on surveys. and miracles closely young adults than among hell older adults. more inclined to see evolution as the best explanation of human life and less prone to see Hollywood as threatening their moral values. FEB. once a day.

5 1 5 2 <0.379 50-59 % 80 54 27 20 7 23 1 1 1 <0.5 1 <0. Religious Landscape Survey report. FEB.5 1 <0. WED.242 Total 30+ % 81 53 27 19 7 24 2 1 1 <0.pewforum.5 5 2 1 1 <0.S. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Throughout this analysis. young people are much less likely to affiliate with any religious tradition or to identify themselves as part of a Christian denomination.5 <0.5 1 <0. Religious Affiliation www. 17TH of young people (68%) say they are members of a Christian denomination and 43% describe themselves as Protestants.5 4 2 <0.5 1 14 5 6 1 2 1 100 30.” This compares with less than one-fifth of people in their 30s (19%).5 <0.5 6 2 1 1 <0.5 1 10 3 4 1 2 1 100 5. For more details on question wording and the classification of Protestant traditions. see the U.734 70+ % 88 62 30 26 6 23 1 1 1 <0.pdf.5 1 16 6 6 2 2 1 100 35. Fully one-in-four adults under age 30 (25%) are unaffiliated.556 Total 18-29 % 68 43 22 12 8 22 2 1 1 <0. compared with 81% of adults ages 30 and older who associate with Christian faiths and 53% who are Protestants.5 <0.org 3 .5 1 <0.5 <0.S.5 <0.org/pdf/report-religious-landscape-study-full.517 1 100 5. http://religions.M. * The "religious unaffiliated" category includes those who describe their faith as "nothing in particular" but say that religion is somewhat or very important in their lives.5 1 19 7 7 2 2 1 100 5.5 2 25 9 9 3 4 1 100 4. EST.738 40-49 % 80 52 28 17 7 25 2 1 1 <0..” “agnostic” or “nothing in particular. About two-thirds EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A. 14% of those in their 50s and 10% or less among those 60 and older.5 1 15 6 6 1 2 1 100 7.5 5 1 1 1 1 <0.5 4 2 <0.5 1 14 5 6 1 2 60-69 % 84 57 29 21 7 24 2 1 <0. Religious Composition of Age Groups Total Pop.5 4 1 <0. Religious Landscape Survey.085 1 100 6.5 1 8 3 3 1 1 Christian Protestant Evangelical Churches Mainline Churches Historically Black Churches Catholic Mormon Jehovah’s Witness Orthodox Other Christian Other Religions Jewish Muslim Buddhist Hindu Other World Religions Other Faiths Unaffiliated Religious Unaffiliated* Secular Unaffiliated* Atheist Agnostic DK/REF N Source: 2007 U. The "secular unaffiliated" category includes those who describe their faith as "nothing in particular" and say that religion is not too important or not at all important in their lives (or who decline to say how important religion is in their lives).pewforum.5 <0.5 5 2 <0.5 <0.5 <0.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials Religious Affiliation Compared with their elders today. figures may not add to 100 and nested figures may not add to the subtotals indicated due to rounding. describing their religion as “atheist. % 78 51 26 18 7 24 2 1 1 <0.453 30-39 % 76 47 26 16 6 25 2 1 1 <0. 15% of those in their 40s.5 <0.

g.965 Atheist 502 Atheist 37 34 36 22 16 9=100 12=100 502 unaffiliated than young people have Agnostic 34 818 Agnostic 34 34 22 9=100 818 been in recent decades. compared with 20% of Jewish Jewish 20 48 29 18 29 5=100 22=100 664 29 1. In groups. in part.” Pew Research Center. Among older age decision many young to leave the religion of their upbringing without becoming involved groups. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life sayof they now of those ages 50.g.Source: 2007 U. nearly one-in-five adults under age 30 (18%) say The large proportion of young adults who are unaffiliated with a religion is a result. older 12% Ages 50-64 12 3 30 55=100 8. been and raised 7% of (e. All other Class results from the Mainstream.. only Percentages have been adjusted to exclude nonresponse. from other religious groups for Catholic Catholic 18 42 41 19 24 15=100 16=100 7.823 Ages 50-64 12 34 30 55=100 faith. with the unaffiliated standing Evangelical Churches 17 39 26 19=100 9. Also having (e..662 adults are not just more unaffiliated than Religious Unaffiliated 30 43 20 7=100 1.947 Unaffiliated 31 40 20 7=100 8=100 4. 12% age ages groups.027 age 30 (31%).695 religious affiliation are reflected the Total Population affiliation are reflected in the inage 20 39 25 16=100 34.556 Total 18-29 population 13 27 57=100 4.org 12:01 A. fewer Religious Switching. fewer with a new faith. In GSS surveys * Source for Muslims is “Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly * Source for Muslims is “Muslim Americans: Middle and Mostly conducted since 2000.” PewLandscape Research Center. Buddhist 23 58 40 19 30 5=100 7=100 410 18 250 the total population. Also respondents who refused to specify childhood faith but did specify current as well as those ages 65 includes includes who refused to specify faith but did specify current faith. of the decision by many young people to leave the religion of their upbringing without becoming involved with a new faith. Among older age they by were raised in a people religion but are now unaffiliated with any particular faith. 6 6 EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A.M. about half as many young adults were Percentages have been adjusted to exclude nonresponse. agnostic). EST.856 Mormon 24 565 unaffiliated population is under age 30 Jehovah’s their relative youth. Protestant 17 38 26 20=100 18.Source: 2007 U. and 7% of those ages 65 and older). In total. EST. 2007.942 18 41 24 16=100 7. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. from atheist to faith. of the they were raised in a religion but are now unaffiliated with any particular faith. 20 29 29 22=100 664 age 30 (31%). *Includes have switched faiths the within religious traditions such as within Protestantism from people Baptistwho to Methodist) and within unaffiliated (e. by Age Religious Switching. FEB. FEB.965 their elders today but are also more Secular Unaffiliated 37 29 36 41 16 21 12=100 8=100 1.” By comparison. of the decision by many young people to leave the religion of their upbringing without part.S. which have been conducted Hindu Hindu 18 58 19 5=100 250 regularly since 1972.S. Roughly one-third Mormon Witness 24 42 19 15=100 565 21 39 25 14=100 207 their relative youth. those and older).453 (13% of those with any particular Ages 13 4 27 56=100 (13% of those Ages 30-49 13 27 56=100 10.027 Data from the General Social Surveys Buddhist 23 410 the total population.30-49.. and 7% of *Includes people who have switched faiths within religious traditions such as within Protestantism 64.662 Secular Unaffiliated 29 41 21 8=100 1.. nearly one-quarter Mainstream.. 17TH Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials The large proportion of young adults who are unaffiliated with a religion is a result. U.EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A.947 Religious Unaffiliated 30 43 20 1.S. from Baptist to Methodist) and within the unaffiliated (e. nearly one-insay they are now Switched from … they are now Switched from …One faith to five say adults under Have One faith to Have unaffiliated after Affiliated to Unaffiliated another/switched not age unaffiliated 30 (18%) say after Affiliated to to Unaffiliated another/switched not unaffiliated affiliated N within tradition* switched they were raised unaffiliated to affiliated within tradition* switched N having been % % % % having been % in a religion but are Total population 13% 4% 27% 57=100 35.281 with the unaffiliated standing out groups. FEB.823 30. and ages older).M.M. in part. fewer Ages 65+ 7 3 30 60=100 8. Religious Landscape Survey. in The large proportion of young adults who are unaffiliated with a religion is a result. Pew Forum on Religion & the of people ages 18-29 have described their Public 2007 Life. 17TH Religious Affiliation 4 . Black Churches 24 36 24 15=100 1. Religious Landscape Survey. compared with 20% of the total Orthodox 18 358 of the unaffiliated population is under Orthodox 18 38 27 17=100 358 of the unaffiliated population is under population. unaffiliated in the 1970s and 1980s. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life unaffiliated after 64.242 35..695 age composition of major religious composition of majorof religious groups.pewforum. by Age total. WED.281 Mainline Churches 14 36 28 23=100 7.453 4. In total.271 the unaffiliated standing Mainline 14 36 36 24 28 15=100 23=100 1.494 Evangelical Churches 17 39 26 9. All other results from 2007 U.242 Ages 30+ 11 44 29 56=100 Ages 30-49 30+ 11 4 29 56=100 11. 12% of those ages 50-64. from atheist to agnostic).484 Ages 65+ 7 3 30 60=100 30-49.M.484 11. 17TH EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A. EST. those who refused to specify current faith but did specify childhood faith. Among ages 30-49. nearly one-in-five adults under age 30 (18%) say becoming involved with a new faith. WED. BlackChurches Churches 24 out from other religious groups for Hist.. (GSS).g. religion as “none. Roughly one-third Jehovah’s Witness 21 38 39 27 25 17=100 14=100 207 (31%). EST. Religious Landscape Survey.556 raised in a faith 18 44 20 58=100 in a faith Ages now raised unaffiliated Ages 18-29 18 20 58=100 30.942 7.g. 2007.856 relative Roughly one-third of the out youth. WED.. 17TH EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL www.146 10.146 thoseare ages 50.494 age composition major religious Protestant 17 38 26 19=100 20=100 18. Religious Survey. as well as in a those faith (13% ages of 65 those who respondents refused to specify current faith but childhood did specify childhood faith. other with religious groups for their Hist. Age Composition of Major Religious Traditions Age Composition of Major Religious Traditions Young people’s lower levels of 18-29 30-49 50-64 65+ N Young people’s lower levels of 18-29 30-49 50-64 65+ N % % % % Young people’s lower levels of religious religious affiliation are reflected in the Total Population % % % % 20 39 25 16=100 34. WED. compared with 20% of Muslim* Muslim* 29 40 48 30 18 7=100 5=100 1. confirm that young Unaffiliated 31 40 20 8=100 4.S. FEB.271 fromgroups.

GSSis assurveys of their religious In affiliation strong 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 12 12 16 23 today as among previous conducted since 2000.M. Catholic. significantly different than among unaffiliated in the 1970s and Baby Boomers when they were young (31%). however.Unaffiliated (no religion) 88 88 84 77 when they were young. 17TH Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials Data from the General Social Surveys (GSS).. which have been conducted regularly since 1972. Intensity of Religious Affiliation.Indicates WED. 1980s. FEB. the intensity Among adults ages 18-29 in the… decades. same as the 37% of Gen Xers who Jewish.722 3. Question wording: Would you call yourself a strong [INSERT RELIGIOUS PREFERENCE] or a not very strong [INSERT RELIGIOUS PREFERENCE]? Millennial (born 1981 or later) Gen X (born 1965-80) Boomer (born 1946-64) Silent (born 1928-45) Greatest (born before 1928) 7 point when generations EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A.525 2.. FEB. WED.generations nearly one. only about half as Question wording: What is your religious preference? Is it Protestant. More than Affiliated 100 100 100 100 quarter of people ages 18-29 have one-third of religiously affiliated N 2. the By comparison. Based on those a liated with a religion. EST. EST. 17TH were at comparable ages Religious Affiliation www.434 2. by Generation Percent saying they are a “strong” member of their religion 65 % 55 % 49 45 % 45 57 50 43 37 31 38 37 35 % 25 % 15 % Early ’70s Late ’70s Early ’80s Late ’80s Early ’90s Late ’90s Early ’00s Late ’00s Source: General Social Surveys. some other religion or no religion? said many this at young a similar adults age and were not Percentages have been adjusted to exclude nonresponse.M. confirm that young adults are not just more unaffiliated than their elders today but are also more unaffiliated than young Among Millennials people have who been are inaffiliated recent Religious Affiliation among Young Adults. by Decade with a religion.EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A.pewforum.” Millennials (37%) say they are a Source: General Social Surveys “strong” member of their faith.711 described their religion as “none.org 5 .

360 5. 17TH . Religious Landscape Survey.930 Total Population Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Ages 30-49 Ages 50-64 Ages 65+ Religiously Affiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Unaffiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Evangelical Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Mainline Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Hist. while young people are less likely than their elders to be affiliated with a religion.484 8.054 926 6. generational differences in worship attendance are fairly than small. EST.453 11. once a week.S. among those be smaller within religious groups (with who are affiliated.823 10. how often do you attend religious services. WED.M.743 1. Oneleast once a week. worship generational differences Religious Attendance Attend services at least weekly % 39 33 41 36 40 53 46 43 47 5 5 5 58 55 59 35 33 35 59 55 60 41 34 43 N 35. FEB. One-third of those under age less 30 say they attend services at often than theirworship elders today. WED. young people 65 older).Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A.org 6 9 EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A.995 356 1. compared with 41% of third of those under age 30 say they adults 30 and older (including more than half attend worship services at generational least once a of people 65 and older). compared with 41% of adults be smaller within religious groups (with older (including more than half of the and exception of Catholics) than in the total population. adults report ReligiousSurvey. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Question wording: Aside from weddings and funerals. among those who are in affiliated. EST. FEB.M.pewforum.163 26.034 3.242 30.352 7.146 30.913 9.236 3.556 4.more than once a week. In and other words.586 8. the exception of Catholics) in the total population. or never? Worship Attendance www.470 528 6.048 1.472 929 8. 17TH Worship Attendance Worship Attendance In the Pew 2007 Forum’s 2007 In the Pew Forum’s Religious Landscape youngSurvey. But differences in worship attendance tend 30 to week. Butwhile generational people are less likely than their elders to differences in worship attendance tend to be affiliated with a religion. In other words.. once or twice a month.. Landscape young attending religious services less often than adults report attending religious services their elders today. Black Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Catholic Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ attendance are fairly small. a few times a year. Source: 2007 U. seldom...

nearly every week. Attendance at Religious Services. But Millennials closely resemble members of Generation X when they were in their 20s and early 30s. less than once a year. several times a year. by Generation Percent saying they attend several times a week.pewforum. Furthermore.] Millennial (born 1981 or later) Gen X (born 1965-80) Boomer (born 1946-64) Silent (born 1928-45) Greatest (born before 1928) Indicates point when generations were at comparable ages Worship Attendance www. every week. about once or twice a year. Question wording: How often do you attend religious services? [RESPONSE CATEGORIES. about once a month. Millennials currently attend church or worship services at lower rates than Baby Boomers did when they were younger. 18% of Millennials currently report attending religious services weekly or nearly weekly. every week or nearly every week 60% 56 50 % 44 40 % 37 32 30 % 26 20 % 21 18 27 44 10 % Early ’70s Late ’70s Early ’80s Late ’80s Early ’90s Late ’90s Early ’00s Late ’00s Source: General Social Surveys. USED AS PROBES AS NECESSARY: Never.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials The long-running GSS also finds that young people attend religious services less often than their elders. compared with 26% of Boomers in the late 1970s. several times a week.org 7 . when one-in-five Gen Xers (21%) reported attending religious services weekly or nearly weekly. two to three times a month.

995 Ages 18-29 45 70 37 356 under age 30 pray every day.163 Americans ages 30-49.weekly and more than twobasis (26%). a few 49. or never? are smaller among evangelical 56% of Americans ages 30People practice their religion in different ways. compared with 2007 Religious Landscape Read more than four-in-ten adults Pray Meditate Scripture 30 Survey and older (43%). Age differences in frequency of prayer are most pronounced among members of historically black Protestant churches (70% of those under age 30 pray every day. seldom.453 Ages 30-49 33 56 35 11. several times a year. And onepopulation (those and quarter of adults under65 30 say they meditate a weekly Scripture Reading.484 of adults under age 30 say Ages 65+ 43 68 56 8. compared with 83% among older members) and Catholics (47% of Other Religious Practices www.S. once a week.M. especially theyoung oldest adults group engage in the population (those Consistent with their lower levels of affiliation. The differences8 are smaller among evangelical and mainline Protestants. religious groups. you pray several times a day. compared with 36% Ages 50-64 37 61 46 10. less than half basis. 17TH . WED.586 compared with 83% among Catholic 21 58 36 8. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life age 30 say they pray every with 60% among older Question wording: Please tell me how often you do each of the following.org Catholics under 30 pray every day. and mainline Protestants. Outside of attending religious services. in a number of 65 and older). Age with differences in Evangelical Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 51 73 28 929 frequency of prayer four-in-ten adultsare 30most and Ages 30+ 62 79 50 8.352 27 53 35 7.034 60s. EST.472 (68%). young adults engage in a number of religious practices less often than do older Americans. and more than two-thirds of those 65 and older (68%). compared with 36% of those 30 and older. the basis (26%). How often do day (48%). once a day.pewforum.146 ofpray thoseevery 30 and older.. WED.930 (47% of half Catholics under 30 than of adults under pray every day. For example. 17TH Other Religious Practices Consistent with their lower levels of affiliation. These finds that 27% of daily weekly N weekly % % % patterns hold true across a young adults say they read Total Population 35 58 39 35. seldom.054 In addition.913 thirds of those 65 and older compared more than 60 78 46 9. FEB. Prayer and Meditation older).360 30 say they 50s meditate on a Unaffiliated 9 22 26 5. Ages 30+ 64 83 61 1. the 2007 Religious Landscape Survey finds that 27% of young adults religious practices less often than do older Americans. less Ages 18-29 17 47 24 926 older members) and Catholics Ages 30+ 22 60 39 6.M. Black Protestant Churches churches (70% of those 60 80 55 1. or never? 50s and early 60s.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials Other Religious Practices EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A. especially the oldest group in the say they read Scripture on a weekly basis.556 variety of religious groups.823 In addition.743 hold true across a variety of Hist. FEB. compared Source: 2007 U.048 of those in their and early Ages 18-29 8 18 21 1.. compared with 60% among older Catholics). a few times a week. 40 65 42 30. These patterns Ages 18-29 23 49 18 528 of historically black Protestant Ages 30+ 28 54 37 6.470 pronounced among members Mainline Protestant Churches older (43%). The differences a week. 61% Ages 30+ 41 66 45 26. Religious Landscape Survey. Ages 18-29 27 48 26 4. compared with you [read Scripture outside of religious services/meditate]? Would you say at least once Catholics).236 compared with 56% of Religiously Affiliated one-quarter of adults under Ages 18-29 34 58 28 3. Ages 30+ 10 24 28 3. once or twice a month. For on example. EST.242 Scripture on a weekly Ages 30+ 36 60 43 30. 11 EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A. And they day (48%). 61% of those in their do times a month.

once a day. roughly four-in-ten Millennials report praying daily (41%). the GSS shows that Millennials are in sync with Generation X and Baby Boomers when members of those generations were younger.org 9 . less than once a week. when the first data are available for them. as did 42% of members of Generation X in the late 1990s. USED AS PROBES AS NECESSARY: Several times a day. Baby Boomers reported praying at a similar rate in the early 1980s (47%).pewforum. Daily Prayer.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials Although Millennials report praying less often than their elders do today. never. several times a week. In the 2008 GSS survey. Question wording: About how often do you pray? [RESPONSE CATEGORIES. GSS data show that daily prayer increases as people get older. once a week.] Millennial (born 1981 or later) Gen X (born 1965-80) Boomer (born 1946-64) Silent (born 1928-45) Greatest (born before 1928) Indicates point when generations were at comparable ages Other Religious Practices www. by Generation Percent saying they pray daily 80 % 74 70 % 69 71 62 60 % 59 54 50 % 47 42 40 % 41 30 % Early ’70s Late ’70s Early ’80s Late ’80s Early ’90s Late ’90s Early ’00s Late ’00s Source: General Social Surveys.

048 1.470 528 6.M. 59% among those ages 50-64 and 69% among those ages 65 and older).S.242 30.. young people exhibit lower levels of religious intensity than their elders do today.453 11. compared with roughly six-in-ten adults Less than half of adults under age 30 say that religion is very important in their among those ages 50-64 and 69% among those ages 65 and older). EST.930 Total Population Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Ages 30-49 Ages 50-64 Ages 65+ Religiously Affiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Unaffiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Evangelical Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Mainline Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Hist. Religious Landscape Survey.484 8.146 30. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Question wording: How important is religion in your life … very important.236 3.163 26.743 1.556 4.034 3. not too important.pewforum. somewhat important.472 929 8. within a variety of religious groups.Religious Attitudes and Beliefs Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials (45%). By this measure. 17T Religious Attitudes and Beliefs www. 30 and older (54% among those ages 30-49 people exhibit lower levels of religious intensity than their elders do today. Importance of Religion Religion is very important % 56 45 59 54 59 69 64 57 66 16 12 17 79 71 80 52 42 53 85 81 86 56 45 58 N 35.586 8. Black Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Catholic Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Source: 2007 U.995 356 1.org 10 . By this measure.913 9.054 926 6.360 5. WED.352 7. or not at all important? 13 EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A.823 10. and this holds true within a variety of religious groups. FEB. and this hold Religious Attitudes and Beliefs Less than half of adults under age 30 say that religion is very important in their lives (45%). compared with roughly six-in-ten adults 30 and older (54% among those ages 30-49.

or not very important? Millennial (born 1981 or later) Gen X (born 1965-80) Boomer (born 1946-64) Silent (born 1928-45) Greatest (born before 1928) Indicates point when generations were at comparable ages Religious Attitudes and Beliefs www. However. In Gallup surveys in the late 2000s.org 11 . Importance of Religion..Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials Gallup surveys conducted over the past 30 years that use a similar measure of religion’s importance confirm that religion is somewhat less important for Millennials today than it was for members of Generation X when they were of a similar age. fairly important.pewforum. Question wording: How important would you say religion is in your [own] life . by Generation Percent saying religion is very important in their lives 80 % 75 70 % 67 63 60 % 56 50 % 48 52 60 40 % 39 40 30 % Early ’70s Late ’70s Early ’80s Late ’80s Early ’90s Late ’90s Early ’00s Late ’00s Source: Gallup Surveys. as did 48% of Gen Xers in the late 1990s. 39% of Boomers said religion was very important to them. [would you say] very important. 40% of Millennials said religion is very important.. in a 1978 Gallup poll. young people today look very much like Baby Boomers did at a similar point in their life cycle.

younger Catholics being 10 points less likely than older Catholics to believe in God Similarly.472 929 8. ASK:] How certain are you about this belief? Are you absolutely certain. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Question wording: Do you believe in God or a universal spirit? [IF YES.64% of young adults say they are absolutely certain of God’s existence.823 10.995 356 1.556 4.034 3. young adults are less convinced of God’s existence than their elders are today. In other religious traditions.048 1.S. FEB. 64% of young adults say they are absolutely certain of God’s existence.org 12 .930 Total Population Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Ages 30-49 Ages 50-64 Ages 65+ Religiously Affiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Unaffiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Evangelical Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Mainline Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Hist.236 3.. differences are most pronounced among Catholics absolute In other the religious traditions.743 1.586 8. compared with 73% of those ages 30 and older. fairly certain.M.913 9. differences are most pronounced among Catholics. In this case. with younger Catholics being 10 points less likely than older Catholics to believe in God with absolute certainty.242 30. not too certain.163 26.453 11. Black Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Catholic Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Source: 2007 U. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life certainty.484 8.360 5.146 30. 17T Religious Attitudes and Beliefs www.054 926 6. compared with 7 those ages 30 and older. Religious Landscape Survey. Belief in God Absolutely certain belief in God % 71 64 73 71 73 77 79 74 80 36 34 37 90 86 91 73 70 73 90 88 91 72 64 74 N 35. In this case. age differences are smaller.pewforum.352 7. EST.470 528 6. / Religion among millennials age differences are smaller. or not at all certain? 15 EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A. WED.

making it impossible to compare Millennials with Boomers when Boomers were at a similar point in their life cycle. Question wording: Please look at this card and tell me which statement comes closest to expressing what you believe about God: I don't believe in God. I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. but I do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. with no doubts 85 % 75 % 71 65 % 66 71 68 65 61 55 59 55 % 53 45 % 35 % Early ’70s Late ’70s Early ’80s Late ’80s Early ’90s Late ’90s Early ’00s Late ’00s Source: General Social Surveys.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials But GSS data show that Millennials’ level of belief in God resembles that seen among Gen Xers when they were roughly the same age. Millennial (born 1981 or later) Gen X (born 1965-80) Boomer (born 1946-64) Silent (born 1928-45) Greatest (born before 1928) Indicates point when generations were at comparable ages Religious Attitudes and Beliefs www. I don't believe in a personal God. by Generation Percent saying they know God exists. I feel that I do believe in God.pewforum. (Data on this item stretch back only to the late 1980s. Levels of certainty of belief in God have increased somewhat among Gen Xers and Baby Boomers in recent decades. Just over half of Millennials in the 2008 GSS survey (53%) say they have no doubt that God exists. I don't know whether there is a God and I don't believe there is any way to find out.org 13 . While I have doubts. a figure that is very similar to that among Gen Xers in the late 1990s (55%). I find myself believing in God some of the time but not at others.) Certain Belief in God.

Religious Attitudes and Beliefs EMBARGOED: NOT 17 www. Black Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Catholic Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Source: 2007 U. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Question wording: Which comes closest to your view? [HOLY BOOK*] is the word of God. evangelicals 30 and older.. EST. young people are slightly less inclined than those in people older age to view the Bible the literal wordof of God. for members of other faiths.048 1. Views of Scripture Scripture is word of God NET Literal.236 3. OR not everything in [HOLY BOOK] should be taken literally.054 926 6. although the differences are somewhat less pronounced.470 528 6. "the Torah" was inserted. compared with 61%30 ofand young interpret the Bible literally (47%).484 8..930 Total Population Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Ages 30-49 Ages 50-64 Ages 65+ Religiously Affiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Unaffiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Evangelical Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Mainline Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Hist. age differences on this item arepronounced.823 10. although the differences are somewhat less Overall. WED.163 26. ASK:] And would you say that [HOLY BOOK] is to be taken literally. for Jews. "the Bible" was inserted for HOLY BOOK. Although younger evangelicals are just as likely as older evangelicals evangelicals (and more likely than people in most other religious groups) to see the Bible as the (and more likely than people in most other religious groups) to see the Bible as the word of God.pewforum. they are less likely than older evangelicals to see it as the literal word of God.453 11. word for word. FEB. 17TH Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials Differences between young people and their elders today are also apparent in views of the Bible.360 5. with 61% of evangelicals older.743 1.034 3. virtually nonexistent in other Although younger evangelicals are just as likely as older age differences on this item groups. FEB. or [HOLY BOOK] is a book written by men and is not the word of God? [IF WORD OF GOD.913 9. Overall. word of God. Differences between young andgroups their elders today are also as apparent in views the Bible. Interestingly.org FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A.995 356 1. 17TH 14 .S. Religious Landscape Survey. most dramatic among young young people evangelicals and are inclined than those in older age groups to view the Bible as the literal word of God.352 7. Less than half of than evangelicals half of young evangelicals interpret the Bible compared literally (47%). for Muslims.146 30. Less they are less likely than older evangelicals to see it as the literal word of God. "the Koran" was inserted. word for word? *For Christians and the unaffiliated. EST. WED.EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A. word of word for Not God word literal % % % 63 33 30 59 28 31 64 34 30 63 32 30 62 33 29 70 39 31 71 71 71 25 26 25 88 88 88 61 60 61 84 83 84 62 62 62 37 35 38 11 11 11 59 47 61 22 21 23 62 59 63 23 25 22 34 37 33 14 15 14 29 41 27 38 39 39 22 24 21 39 36 40 Not word of God / Other / Don’t know % 37=100 41=100 36=100 37=100 38=100 30=100 29=100 29=100 29=100 75=100 74=100 75=100 12=100 12=100 12=100 39=100 40=100 39=100 16=100 17=100 16=100 38=100 38=100 38=100 N 35. "the holy scripture" was inserted.556 4.472 929 8.M. are slightly less Interestingly.586 8.M. are most dramatic among young evangelicals and are virtually nonexistent in other groups.242 30.

literal word of God 65 % 55 % 48 45 % 39 37 33 32 28 25 % 27 38 35 % 33 15 % Early ’70s Late ’70s Early ’80s Late ’80s Early ’90s Late ’90s Early ’00s Late ’00s Source: General Social Surveys. Millennial (born 1981 or later) Gen X (born 1965-80) Boomer (born 1946-64) Silent (born 1928-45) Greatest (born before 1928) Indicates point when generations were at comparable ages Religious Attitudes and Beliefs www. This is only slightly lower than among Baby Boomers in the early 1980s (33%) and is very similar to the 29% of Boomers in the late 1980s who said they viewed the Bible as the literal word of God. The Bible is an ancient book of fables. and moral precepts recorded by men. roughly a quarter of Millennials (27%) said the Bible is the literal word of God. legends. Question wording: Which of these statements comes closest to describing your feelings about the Bible? a. The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials On this measure. history. too. by Generation Percent saying Bible is actual. Views of the Bible. word for word. Millennials display beliefs that closely resemble those of Generation X in the late 1990s. compared with 28% among Gen Xers when they were young. c. b. word for word.org 15 . The Bible is the inspired word of God but not everything in it should be taken literally.pewforum. In the 2008 GSS survey.

484 8. and Angels and Demons Life after death % 74 75 74 74 75 71 79 82 79 48 54 45 86 86 86 78 86 77 79 84 77 77 78 77 Believe in … Heaven % 74 74 74 75 72 74 81 84 80 41 46 39 86 89 86 77 85 77 91 94 90 82 82 82 Hell % 59 62 59 61 58 57 65 72 64 30 34 28 82 85 81 56 70 54 82 88 80 60 63 59 Miracles % 79 78 79 79 80 76 83 85 83 55 58 53 88 87 89 81 84 81 88 93 87 83 85 83 Angels and demons % 68 67 69 71 69 62 74 76 74 40 42 40 87 85 87 65 68 65 87 92 86 69 70 69 N 35. 59%)Protestants and miracles (78% vs. there are few differences in the beliefs of young people compared with their elders today.M.930 Total Population Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Ages 30-49 Ages 50-64 Ages 65+ Religiously Affiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Unaffiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Evangelical Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Mainline Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Hist. are just as likely On still other measures of religious belief. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life RELEASE / Religion among the millennials WED.048 1. Adults under 30. heaven (74% each). for instance.163 26.EMBARGOED: NOT FOR UNTIL 12:01 A.242 30. young mainline Protestants and members and members of historically black Protestant churches exhibit somewhat higher levels of belief of historically black Protestant churches exhibit somewhat higher levels of belief than their elders. FEB. EST. Adults under 30.054 926 6.913 9.S. 17TH On still other measures of religious belief. For each one.M. hellyoung (62% mainline vs. mostly disagree with it. 17TH 19 www. than their elders.995 356 1.586 8. Religious Landscape Survey. EST.034 3.453 11. Miracles. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Question wording: Do you believe in life after death? Do you think there is a heaven. please tell me if you completely agree with it. for instance.470 528 6. In fact. heaven (74% each). Black Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Catholic Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Source: 2007 U. The first/next one is [miracles still occur today as in ancient times/angels and demons are active in the world]. compared with their elders today.472 929 8. hell (62% vs. Beliefs about Afterlife.org 16 . 79%). 79%). Religious Attitudes and Beliefs EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A. FEB. fact. 74%).236 3.pewforum.146 30.. where people who have led bad lives and die without being sorry are eternally punished? Here are a few statements.823 10.556 4. to believe life after death (75% vs. there are few differences in the beliefs of young people as older adults to believe in life after death (75% vs. on several of these items. WED. on several of these items. or completely disagree with it..352 7. where people who have led good lives are eternally rewarded? Do you think there is a hell.743 1. mostly agree with it.360 5. are just as likely as older adults 59%) andin miracles (78% vs. In74%).

882 9. while more young Americans than older Americans view their faith as the life. OR Many religions can lead to eternal life.062 7. Obtaining Eternal Life. adults are alsofaith.M. higher than the 23% of religiously affiliated people ages 30 and older who say the same.163 26.743 1. affiliated adults under age 30 (29%) say their own religion is the one true faith leading to eternal Interestingly. EST. Nearly three-quarters affiliated young adults (74%) say view there their is more than Interestingly. My religion is the one true faith leading to eternal life..995 356 1. Nearly three-in-ten religiously Catholics. Interpreting Religious Teachings Own religion is one true faith that leads to eternal life % 24 29 23 24 20 24 36 43 35 12 18 11 34 39 33 16 17 15 Many religions can lead to eternal life % 70 66 71 71 73 68 57 52 58 83 79 84 59 55 61 79 78 79 Only one true way to interpret own religion % 27 23 28 26 28 33 41 33 43 14 11 15 39 34 40 19 15 20 More than one true way % 68 74 67 70 68 59 53 64 51 82 87 81 57 63 55 77 82 76 N 30. Religious Landscape Survey. way interpret young the teachings of their with 67% of affiliated adults ages and Nearly three-quarters of affiliated young adults (74%) say there is more than one true way to older. Source: 2007 U. ways of interpreting their pattern evident among all three Protestant groups but not religion. tell me whether the FIRST statement or the SECOND statement comes closer to your own views even if neither is exactly right. more people many religions can lead to eternal life than say theirs is the one true faith). WED.472 929 8. FEB.054 926 6. 17TH Young people who are affiliated with a religion are more inclined than their elders to Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials believe their own religion is the one true path to eternal life (though in all age groups. while more youngof Americans than older Americans faith as one the true single path toto salvation.236 3.org 17 . Nearly three-in-ten religiously affiliated adults under age 30 (29%) say their own religion is the one true faith leading to eternal life. This singleis path to salvation.M. more people say many religions can lead to eternal life than say theirs is the one true faith). as I read a pair of statements.. This pattern iseternal evidentlife among all in three Protestant groups but not say among own religion is the one true path to (though all age groups. OR There is MORE than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion. Black Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Catholic Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Results based on those affiliated with a religion. higher than the 23% of religiously affiliated people ages 30 and older Young people who are affiliated with a religion are more inclined than their elders to believe their who say the same. WED.416 9. morecompared open to multiple ways of interpreting their30 religion..pewforum.. First/next . compared with 67% of affiliated adults ages 30 and older.S. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Question wording: Now. FEB.586 8.930 Total Affiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Ages 30-49 Ages 50-64 Ages 65+ Evangelical Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Mainline Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Hist.360 9. 20 EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A.352 7. young adults are also more open to among multipleCatholics. EST. There is only ONE true way to interpret the teachings of my religion. 17TH Religious Attitudes and Beliefs www.EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A. interpret the teachings of their faith.470 528 6.

org 18 . WED. significantly larger proportions of young adults say society should accept homosexuality. Religious Landscape Survey. Young adults also slightly more supportive of beare accepted.930 Total Population Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Ages 30-49 Ages 50-64 Ages 65+ Religiously Affiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Unaffiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Evangelical Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Mainline Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Hist. But when 65 and older (63% vs. traditions examined. older almost people.472 929 8. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Question wording: Now I’m going to read you a few pairs of statements.352 7. Young people are also considerably more likely than those ages 30-49 (51%) or 50-64 (48%) to say that homosexuality should be accepted.823 10.556 4. EST. FEB. Young adults are also slightly more supportive of government views.453 11.048 1.pewforum.Social and Culture War Issues Young people are more accepting of homosexuality and evolution than are older people.242 30. Stark age differences also government efforts to protect morality exist each the major religious and within of efforts by of houses of worship to express their social and political views. Stark age differences also exist within each of the major religious traditions examined.236 3. OR homosexuality is a way of life that should be discouraged by society. 35%). almost twice as many young adults say homosexuality should be accepted by society as do society should accept homosexuality.586 8. those ages 65 and older (63% vs.S.484 8.. They are Landscape twice as many also more comfortable with having young adults say homosexuality should a bigger government.034 3. Compared with According the faith.M. For each pair. 2007significantly Religious older membersto of their Landscape Survey.146 30. Young asked generally about morality and people are also considerably more likely religion. and they are concerned about beless accepted by society as doHollywood those ages threatening their values. tell me whether the FIRST statement or the SECOND statement comes closer to your own views — even if neither is exactly right: Homosexuality is a way of life that should be accepted by society. efforts to protect andWar of efforts by houses of worship to express their social and political Social and morality Culture Issues Views of Homosexuality Homosexuality should be accepted by society % 50 63 47 51 48 35 46 58 43 71 79 67 26 39 24 56 69 54 39 51 36 58 72 55 Young people are more accepting According to the 2007 Religious of homosexuality and evolution than areSurvey. and they are less concerned Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials about Hollywood threatening their values. 21 EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A.470 528 6. Black Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Catholic Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ larger proportions of young adults say Source: 2007 U. N 35. 35%). young adults are just as convinced as older people that there are absolute standards of right and wrong that apply to everyone. 17TH Social and Culture War Issues www. But when asked generally about morality and religion. Compared with older members of their faith.054 926 6.163 26.743 1.995 356 1.360 5.913 9. young adults are just as convinced as older people that there are than those ages 30-49 (51%) or 50-64 absolute standards of right and wrong (48%) to sayto that homosexuality should that apply everyone. They are also more comfortable with having a bigger government.

similar to the 47% of Gen Xers who said the same in the late 1990s. almost always wrong. Views of Homosexuality.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials In the 2008 GSS survey.pewforum. often in tandem. by Generation Percent saying same-sex sexual relations are always wrong 90 % 80 % 81 78 70 % 69 70 60 % 58 56 50 % 47 47 43 40 % Early ’70s Late ’70s Early ’80s Late ’80s Early ’90s Late ’90s Early ’00s Late ’00s Source: General Social Surveys. The views of the various generations on this question have fluctuated over time. just over four-in-ten (43%) Millennials said homosexual relations are always wrong.org 19 . or not wrong at all? Millennial (born 1981 or later) Gen X (born 1965-80) Boomer (born 1946-64) Silent (born 1928-45) Greatest (born before 1928) Indicates point when generations were at comparable ages Social and Culture War Issues www. These two cohorts are significantly less likely than members of previous generations have ever been to say that homosexuality is always wrong.do you think it is always wrong. Question wording: What about sexual relations between two adults of the same sex . wrong only sometimes.

. attitudes toward Ages 30+ 46 45 10=100 4. should be legal in all or most cases.. supportive of legal Interestingly. the group that truly stands out on this issue is people 65 and older. this pattern represents a significant change from Previously. young adults express slightly more permissive views than doearlier adultspolling. older group now express the illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases? [Response categories read in reverse order for youngest age group.. legal in most cases. just 37% of whom say abortion legal in most say or all cases. FEB. Interestingly. In 2009. young adults express slightly more permissive views than do adults ages 30 and older. FEB. the group that truly stands out on this issue is people 65 and older. On this issue. However.M. ages 30 and older. while the Ages 30-49 48 44 8=100 1. However.266 notable exception of young Ages 18-29 Sample size too small for analysis people. EST. EST.e.627 abortion and moved in a more Ages 50-64 48 42 10=100 1. with the Unaffiliated more conservative direction 68 25 7=100 807 Ages 18-29 67 28 5=100 210 among most groups in notable exception of Ages 30+ 69 23 8=100 582 the population. while the represents a significant Abortion should be… change from and earlier polling. as "white evangelicals" or "white mainline Protestants" on the basis of their race and their responses to a question asking if they think of themselves as "born-again or evangelical" Christians. however. On this Roughly half ofshould youngbe adults (52%) abortion issue.M.116 among those in the 30-49 Ages 18-29 55 37 8=100 115 those in the 30-49 and 50Ages 30+ 56 34 11=100 980 age brackets 64 and age50-64 brackets means Catholic 45 45 10=100 1. 17TH Pew Forum Roughly on Religion &of Public Life / Religion the millennials half young adults (52%)among say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. while half of sample] most conservative views on Note: Most of the analyses in this report compare responses among Protestant groups as those of in any the age 65-and-older abortion group. Total Population 47 44 9=100 5. The result White Evangelical Protestant 23 71 6=100 1. however.EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A. 23 EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A. Protestants are categorized group now express the most conservative views on abortion of any age group. WED.org 20 .. In this table. 17TH Social and Culture War Issues www. those ages 30-49 and 50-64) tended to be more say abortion should be legal in most or all cases.199 Ages 18-29 45 51 4=100 156 that their views now more means that their views Ages 30+ 44 44 11=100 1.679 of legal abortion. youngest oldest age Legal in Illegal in Don’t all/most all/most Previously. The result of this of this conservative turn Ages 30+ 23 70 6=100 1. people in the groups were more know cases cases N middle age categories (i. just 37% of whom people in the middle age categories (i. % % % opposed.534 those ages 30-49 and 50-64) Ages 18-29 52 44 5=100 761 tended to be more supportive however.039 population. 2009 thenow youngest age group.025 closely resemble those of more closely Source: Aggregated Pew Research Center surveys. defined by denominational affiliation. this pattern Views on Abortion abortion.664 youngest oldest age Ages 65+ 37 51 12=100 1. WED.pewforum.648 In 2009.388 groups were more opposed.e. while those in the 65-andresemble those of the Question wording: Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases. conservative direction 42 49 9=100 4.162 conservative turn among White Mainline Protestant 55 34 11=100 1. attitudes Religiously Affiliated among most groups in the Ages 18-29 45 50 5=100 541 toward abortion moved in a Ages 30+ 42 49 10=100 4. with the young people.

NOT FOR RELEASE UNTILand 12:01 A.146 30. or a bigger government providing more services? Social and Culture War Issues www.236 3. Hollywood and Size of Government Evolution best explanation for human life % 48 55 47 49 47 40 44 49 43 72 73 71 24 27 23 51 52 50 38 47 36 58 68 56 Agree Hollywood threatens values % 42 33 44 41 46 48 45 36 47 28 25 29 53 42 55 41 32 42 35 29 36 43 35 45 Prefer bigger government.352 7.484 8. WED.586 8.242 30. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Question wording: Now.S. one-third of adults under age 30 agree that Hollywood and the entertainment industry threatens their values.aEST.org 21 . FEB.913 9. And more than half of young adults (55%) believe that evolution is the best explanation for the development of human life. please tell me if you completely agree. Evolution.054 926 6. Black Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Catholic Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Source: 2007 U. mostly agree.048 1. mostly DISagree or completely disagree with each one. Among older Americans. would you rather have a smaller government providing fewer services.034 3.556 4.995 356 1.360 5.163 26.pewforum. as I read some statements on a few different topics.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials Surveys also show that large numbers of young adults (67%) say they would prefer a bigger government that provides more services over a smaller government that provides fewer services.823 10.930 Total Population Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Ages 30-49 Ages 50-64 Ages 65+ Religiously Affiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Unaffiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Evangelical Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Mainline Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Hist.470 528 6. Fewer young people than older people see their moral values as under assault from Hollywood. more services % 46 67 41 48 39 31 46 68 41 48 64 41 41 65 36 37 62 33 72 81 69 51 73 46 N 35. [Evolution is the best explanation for the origins of human life on earth / I often feel that my values are threatened by Hollywood and the entertainment industry] If you had to choose. only 41% feel this way. Religious Landscape Survey.453 11. compared with 44% of people 30 and older. though the link between age and views on evolution is strongest among Catholics and members of historically black Protestant churches. 17TH These EMBARGOED: patterns are seen both in the total population within variety of religious traditions.472 929 8. compared with 47% of people in older age groups..743 1.M.

OR I worry the government is getting too involved in the issue of morality. Religion and Government Agree there are absolute standards of right and wrong % 77 76 77 77 77 78 79 80 79 67 67 67 85 85 85 77 78 77 78 83 77 79 77 79 Government should do more to protect morality % 40 45 39 41 35 39 43 50 41 27 32 24 50 54 49 33 46 31 48 52 47 43 48 41 Houses of worship should express views on social and political issues % 50 55 49 52 47 42 53 61 51 34 39 32 64 72 62 46 50 45 69 77 66 48 56 46 N 35. slightly more than say this among older adults (49%).586 8.743 1.M.823 10. a level nearly identical to that among older age groups (77%). In your opinion. more than three-quarters of young adults (76%) agree that there are absolute standards of right and wrong. compared with 39% of people ages 30 and older.484 8.352 7. Black Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Catholic Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Source: 2007 U.453 11.242 30. or should they express their views on day-to-day social and political questions? Social and Culture War Issues www.034 3.930 Total Population Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Ages 30-49 Ages 50-64 Ages 65+ Religiously Affiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Unaffiliated Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Evangelical Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Mainline Protestant Churches Ages 18-29 Ages 30+ Hist. EMBARGOED: NOT FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 A.470 528 6.048 1.236 3. as I read some statements on a few different topics. EST. For instance.995 356 1. please tell me if you completely agree. mostly DISagree or completely disagree with each one: There are clear and absolute standards for what is right and wrong. Religious Landscape Survey.pewforum. mostly agree. should churches and other houses of worship keep out of political matters.913 9.S.054 926 6.472 929 8..146 30. tell me whether the FIRST statement or the SECOND statement comes closer to your own views — even if neither is exactly right: The government should do more to protect morality in society.163 26. FEB.org 22 . WED. Morality.360 5. For each pair. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Question wording: Now. And 45% of young adults say that the government should do more to protect morality in society. Now I’m going to read you a few pairs of statements.556 4.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials But differences between young adults and their elders are not so stark on all moral and social issues. 17TH More than half of young adults (55%) say that houses of worship should speak out on social and political matters.

by Generation Percent saying pornography should be illegal for people of all ages 70 % 63 60 % 57 57 50 % 40 % 38 37 30 % 24 30 22 20 % Early ’70s Late ’70s Early ’80s Late ’80s Early ’90s 21 Late ’90s Early ’00s Late ’00s Source: General Social Surveys. About one-in-five Millennials today say pornography should be illegal for everyone (21%). Question wording: Which of these statements comes closest to your feelings about pornography laws? There should be laws against the distribution of pornography whatever the age. OR There should be laws against the distribution of pornography to persons under 18. but their views are nearly identical to those expressed by Gen Xers and Baby Boomers when members of those generations were at a similar point in their life cycles. but data from the 1970s onward suggest that people become more opposed to pornography as they age. Views on Pornography.org 23 .Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials GSS surveys show Millennials are more permissive than their elders are today in their views about pornography. Data for the Silent and Greatest generations at similar ages are not available. similar to the 24% of Gen Xers who said this in the late 1990s and the 22% of Boomers who took this view in the late 1970s. OR There should be no laws forbidding the distribution of pornography. Millennial (born 1981 or later) Gen X (born 1965-80) Boomer (born 1946-64) Silent (born 1928-45) Greatest (born before 1928) Indicates point when generations were at comparable ages Social and Culture War Issues www.pewforum.

org 24 .S. Supreme Court rulings that banned the required reading of the Lord’s Prayer or Bible verses in public schools. What are your views on this . 56% of Millennials took this view in 2008. Question wording: The United States Supreme Court has ruled that no state or local government may require the reading of the Lord's Prayer or Bible verses in public schools. but they are less distinctive when compared with members of Generation X or Baby Boomers at a comparable age. while the pattern in the views of the Silent and Greatest generations has been less clear. Lord's Prayer in Schools Percent saying they approve of Supreme Court ruling banning required reading of Lord's Prayer or Bible verses in public schools 60 % 54 50 % 51 46 40 % 40 56 30 % 30 24 32 27 20 % 10 % Early ’70s Late ’70s Early ’80s Late ’80s Early ’90s Late ’90s Early ’00s Late ’00s Source: General Social Surveys.do you approve or disapprove of the court ruling? Millennial (born 1981 or later) Gen X (born 1965-80) Boomer (born 1946-64) Silent (born 1928-45) Greatest (born before 1928) Indicates point when generations were at comparable ages Social and Culture War Issues www. Millennials at the present time stand out from other generations for their opposition to Bible reading and prayer in schools. Generation X and the Boomer generation have become less supportive of the court’s position over time. During early adulthood. Opposition to Bible Reading.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials Similarly. about half of Boomers (51%) and Gen Xers (54%) said they approved of U.pewforum.

and how they compare with older generations. see. Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults by Christian Smith and Patricia Snell (2009) and After the Baby Boomers: How Twentyand Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion by Robert Wuthnow (2007).Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials More Information For other treatments of religion among young adults in the U.S.org 25 .pewforum. for example. More Information www.

432 22 78 100 2. history. word for word. and moral precepts recorded by men.205 31 69 100 1. I don't know whether there is a God and I don't believe there is any way to find out.pewforum.722 1980s % 12 88 100 3. word for word.] Belief in God Certain God exists Less certain/doesn’t exist N NA 55 45 100 356 59 41 100 1. Source for all items: General Social Surveys. some other religion or no religion? Service Attendance Attend nearly weekly Attend less N 26 74 100 2. I don't believe in a personal God.298 80 20 100 1.654 Question wording: Do you believe there is a life after death? View of the Bible Bible literal word of God Not literal/book of fables N NA 33 67 100 1.810 Question wording: Which of these statements comes closest to describing your feelings about the Bible? The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally. 2-3 times a month. The Bible is the inspired word of God but not everything in it should be taken literally.224 45 55 100 1. nearly every week. used as probes if necessary: Never. I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. I find myself believing in God some of the time but not at others. once a week.org 26 . Appendix www. While I have doubts.755 30 70 100 1.722 25 75 100 3. Jewish.525 2000s % 23 77 100 2. legends.041 53 47 100 1.097 Question wording: Please look at this card and tell me which statement comes closest to expressing what you believe about God: I don't believe in God.587 82 18 100 1. I feel that I do believe in God. use as probes if necessary: Several times a day.711 Question wording: What is your religious preference? Is it Protestant. never.439 79 21 100 2. The Bible is an ancient book of fables. Belief in an afterlife Believe in afterlife Don’t believe N 73 27 100 1.130 40 60 100 1. about once or twice a year. less than once a week. less than once a year. several times a week. Catholic. once a day.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Religion among the millennials Appendix: Appendix: Selected Religious Beliefs and Practices among Ages by Decade Selected Religious Beliefs and Practices among Ages 18-29 by18-29 Decade Religious Affiliation Unaffiliated Affiliated N 1970s % 12 88 100 2. about once a month.679 Question wording: About how often do you pray? [Response categories.434 1990s % 16 84 100 2. Results based on total answering. but I do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. several times a week] Frequency of prayer Pray daily Pray less N NA 41 59 100 2.486 21 79 100 2. several times a year.697 Question wording: How often do you attend religious services? [Response categories. every week.

20036 www. D. NW.C.The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life 1615 L Street. Suite 700 Washington.pewforum.org .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful