New Data Shows The ‘Nones’ Have Peaked, May Even Be Dropping Among Gen Zs

Experts didn’t expect such a development but it appears the ranks of the “Nones” — people who identify with no religious denomination or following — are no longer increasing and a decline may even be ahead.

Washington College Political Science Professor Melissa Deckman (Screen shot from Facebook).

That’s the news from two recently completed massive studies, both of which are reported today by the Religion in Public (RIP) blog. In the first, Washington College Political Science Professor Melissa Deckman notes:

“A truism of the American religious landscape is that Americans are becoming more religiously unaffiliated and that this tendency is especially pronounced among the Millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1996).

“As demographers turn to the post-Millennial generation, now called Generation Z (born after 1996), can we expect those trends to stay steady or even accelerate? Studies of Gen Z are just beginning, but there’s very little data that examines the religious behavior of this nascent group.

“I offer a first glimpse. The main takeaway? Gen Z Americans look awfully similar to their Millennial elders when it comes to religious affiliation and religious behavior.”

Deckman’s analysis is based on interviews with more than 2,200 Gen Zers as part of a wider survey dealing with multiple issues, including religious and political concerns.

Not Denison University Professor Paul Djupe (Screenshot from Facebook).

Calling Deckman’s description of Gen Z as mirroring Millennials a “bombshell,” Dennison University Professor Paul Djube and Ryan Burge of Eastern Illinois University responded by “running for other datasets. Like all good scientists, we trust, but verify.”

Using data from the “General Social Survey, 2018 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (a RIP favorite), and the recent release of the Voter Study Group panel,” Djube and Burge concluded that Deckman’s “finding is validated – the rate driving up the religious nones has appeared to be slowing to a crawl.”

Dr. Ryan Burge of Eastern Illinois University (Screen shot).

Further, Djube and Burge, noting that the Nones increased from about five percent of the U.S. population to 30 percent since 1994, explain that the “trend appears to be accelerating by generation, so the rate of being a religious None is much greater among Millennials than it is among Greatest, Silent, and Baby Boomer generations as the figure below shows using the General Social Survey time series.

“Those older generations are still experiencing some secularization (the rates are rising across time), but not nearly as rapidly as the young. From this evidence, we expected that the rate of being a none among Gen Z might be even higher, leading to a bump above Millennials.

“The initial, small sample estimate from the General Social Survey, however, suggests that Gen Z is not outpacing Millennials and may have even fallen behind.”

Djupe and Burge acknowledge that their conclusions are derived from a small sample of Gen Zers and “only a few have graduated from college at this point and may be gaining distance from their parents and religious institutions.” In other words, the last word is yet to be heard.





Author: Mark Tapscott

Follower of Christ, devoted husband of Claudia, doting father and grandfather, conservative lover of liberty, journalist and First Amendment fanatic, former Hill and Reagan aide, vintage Formula Ford racer, Okie by birth/Texan by blood/proud of both, resident of Maryland. Go here:

4 thoughts on “New Data Shows The ‘Nones’ Have Peaked, May Even Be Dropping Among Gen Zs”

  1. It is entirely possible to be a generic Christian (all major American denominations are nothing more) without submitting to the “influence” of organized churches which are political tribes, not religious, in all but name.

    If God really is “omni-everything” then he will not care about the label on your sole (yes, that’s a pun).


  2. Pingback: NEW STUDIES FIND RISE OF THE ‘NONES’ HAS STOPPED: Their ranks increased to 30 percent of the U.S. po… – The usa report
  3. A lot of factors are in play here. I’d be interested to know the following:
    1) A further breakdown between “affiliated Christian” vs. “unaffiliated Christian” vs. “non-Christian religious” vs. “agnostic” vs. “atheist.”
    2) The divorce rate of each of the above categories, organized into how many are married once and remain married; how many engage in serial matrimony, how many outside of marriage are celibate, and how many never marry but don’t practice celibacy.
    3) How many kids each of the above are having.
    4) Divide up the

    My gut tells me that the number of affiliated religious that marry once, stay married, and have three kids or more is on the upswing in the Millennials and that trend will be followed by GenZ. Those that are married once or twice and have only one or two kids are probably slowly trending down, while the number of actual atheists having kids is probably nose diving.

    Translation: our current, anything-goes sexual culture is gradually dividing itself into two rough categories: those who have religious convictions that want a traditional marriage and family who are having kids; and those who have political and social axes to grind and are busying themselves seeking social change or those who are investing everything they have into a career and the pursuit of wealth, both of whom are having fewer and fewer kids. Other categories are becoming statistical outliers as GenX, Millennial and GenZ have successively lived through their families being torn apart via Boomer (and subsequent GenX) divorces, and are rapidly becoming black pilled on marriage altogether and simply refuse to get married or have kids to begin with, or girls who have been fed three successive generations of feminist indoctrination throw themselves into careers and playing the field only to find that when they’re in their mid 30s, few men are interested in marrying them and starting a family with them.

    Either way, as time goes on, the religious (of whatever stripe) will simply outbreed the other classes. How this will be affected by immigration is anyone’s guess, but I’d lay money that heavily Catholic migrants from Latin America will follow this trend, while Muslim migrants will accelerate it.


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