Non religious

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xenoview's picture
Non religious

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CyberLN's picture
Hopefully this increase in

Hopefully this increase in the folks identifying as unaffiliated will lead to a rise in those walking away from theism as well.

David Killens's picture
But also, unfortunately, such

But also, unfortunately, such a survey will panic theists into being more desperate. Expect some state to outlaw atheism.

Cognostic's picture
RE: Declining IN THE USA.

RE: Declining IN THE USA. Globally, it is on the rise.

According to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey, there are 2.2 billion Christians around the world in 2010,[71] up from about 600 million in 1910.[71] And according to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey, within the next four decades, Christians will remain the world's largest religion; if current trends continue, by 2050 the number of Christians will reach 2.9 billion (or 31.4%).[73]

LogicFTW's picture


An interesting subject to me.

Lets see what global population numbers are, to compare.

Obviously these figures are not exact, (just like the christian/religion numbers) but should be fairly reasonable:

1910: 1.75 billion. (600 million christians) 34.2%
2010: 6.86 billion (2.2 billion christians) 32%
2050: 9.3 billion (2.9 billion christians) 31%

Obviously the 2050 numbers are pure speculation based on current trends. So a slight downwards trend. At least on a 140 year time scale. If we had earlier numbers and compared it to the age of the religion, I imagine the trend would actually look fairly steep downwards path but that is just speculation on my part. I thought the decline from 1910 to 2010 would of been greater then 2.2%, but we can safely say christianity is in decline.

However we do all know that the intensity of the christian following has diluted a LOT in the last few decades in many western societies, if anything due to alternative options or flat loss of community that was centered around the local church(s)

I may live in a secular bubble of sorts, but there is a lot of new homes being built around the area I live, entire 1000+ home / apartment neighborhoods springing up in 6 months or less, all the time the population of the town nearest to mine has quadrupled in the last decade. And I am not seeing a corresponding seating/parking capacity churches spring up along with them. Sure a few new churches have been built or expanded upon, but I would put the new capacity at 10% of the new housing capacity in my area.

I feel the real decline in religion is not the raw "poll" numbers, but the decline of fervent religious following. For many folks that I know that identify as christian or religious, it seems to me most of them consider sunday church a chore, that can oftentimes be skipped. Christmas, easter, and maybe a few other times a year. This is also made obvious around christmas and easter, where the local church parking lots are stuffed full, and they have to do multiple masses to handle the influx.

The mega church nearest to me has a 2000 car parking lot, and last easter they had to do 8 different masses. (It makes local news to avoid the street the church is on during these times if at all possible due to the traffic jams.)

I would be curious of earlier numbers, but I am guessing there really is no reliable global data numbers.

And sadly, as history dictates, the more nasty, violent, aggressive religions (then even christianity!) will grow much more rapidly. It cracks me up so many christians are up in arms about atheist, when the real threat to their religion is islam or other aggressive religions like it.

LogicFTW's picture
Wanted to add:

Wanted to add:

Looking closer at the numbers, the 2.2 percent is more profound than it appears. The world population number considers everyone. That includes children. While some of the christian numbers probably included babies in their polls and "counts." I am sure not all of them did where official polling took place. And 1910 and especially 2010 numbers did have somewhat reliable data.

Another issue to look at is average age, as the wikipedia article did. Atheist is at its most popular in the young making this small percent all the more important. Islam, christianity's biggest competitor also averages much younger and has much greater fertility rates. Christianity generally averages to much older. A lot of those people too old to have a bunch more children.

I think the impact of the 2.2 percent from 1910 to 2010 Is actually something the bean counters in christianity should be throwing major alerts to the bosses. Christianity has many a major growing powerful force that has been growing rapidly for around for 2000 years. While true numbers are very difficult to get, it should be easy to conceptualize a graph of christianity growth as percent to total population since christianity has started looking very much like a almost fully complete upside down U. And that is not even considering my earlier argument about how frevent christianity followers are these days.

A christian may have to ask themselves: how great can my "god" be, if my religion following is in serious decline? With other god concepts experiencing explosive growth, along with huge growth in the "nones."

And the steep decline of religion in the US is obvious to anyone that travels the country, and can read a little bit of US history. Even our mass media reflects this to a great degree when it is not lying about it.

Cognostic's picture
@LOGIC: Thanks for the

@LOGIC: Thanks for the insight! You touched my heart. A decline in regards to overall population growth. I feel so much better.

boomer47's picture
The phenomenon has been known

The phenomenon has been known for some years.

The decline seems to be correlated with education and affluence. Hence religiosity remains relatively untouched in say the US bible belt, which includes the very poorest US states

There are increases exactly where one would expect: Parts of Africa and South America especially . Religion flourishes wherever there is ignorance and poverty, but ignorance (as in uneducated) seems to be the single most important factor.

That's one reason why I have long asserted that education is the magic bullet.

Australia is one the most secular societies on earth. I'm happy to be able to say that Australia shows a continuing decline in religious affiliation.

However, I think part of the decline is the result of a campaign by the Australian Atheist Foundation. Over the last few years, the foundation has ben encouraging people to be honest on the census form. IE if you have no religion, say so , rather than leaving the question blank or writing "Jedi"(. unless that's true) Seems Oz has more Jedi than some of the smaller christian sects..

What can I say? Aussies have a healthy contempt for politicians and clergy as a group. Writing "Jedi" takes the piss out of both groups at once.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cranky

@ Cranky

Because of the growing "census disobedience" I hear that the religion questions will not be asked at the next census in Australia. I guess to make it easier for the ACL and other dishonest religious bastards claim the "silent majority".

boomer47's picture
Indeed, and 'dishonest' is

Indeed, and 'dishonest' is too mild a world-----

True story: A few decades ago, a well known and chronically catholic, wealthy Maltese Australian man died. He left everything to "the church" . The Anglican church challenged the will claiming that they are "the church"under Australian law,. They won. This was a multi $million estate.

I only thought of this because I've just had a new will done together with enduring power of attorney and 'advanced care directive'

I've directed that I be burned not buried, once I am dead, . I've always had a phobia about being buried alive. My sis in law is a funeral director and reassured me thus: "Don't worry about it. If you aren't dead when we get you, you bloody well are once we're finished with you" .I found that strangely comforting,

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