Belief In God Plummets Among Youth (CHART)

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The younger generation is abandoning God in droves.

A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that belief in the existence of God has dropped 15 points in the last five years among Americans 30 and under.

Pew, which has been studying the trend for 25 years, finds that just 68 percent of millennials in 2012 agree with the statement “I never doubt the existence of God.” That’s down from 76 percent in 2009 and 83 percent in 2007.Among other generations, belief in God is high and has seen few changes in recent decades. Between 81 and 89 percent of older generations say they never doubt the existence of God, although the older the generation, the more likely they are to believe in God.

The chart below reflects the Pew survey’s latest findings.

The results suggest that a new movement of atheist or agnostic thinking during the the last decade — spearheaded by high-profile authors like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris — is steering younger people away from traditional beliefs long held by their parents.

The trend was also reflected in declining numbers of millennials who agreed with the statements “Prayer is an important part of my daily life” and “We all will be called before God at the Judgment Day to answer for our sins.” Answers to those questions also didn’t change much among older generations.

Image via Shutterstock / William Perugini

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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