Blogging Religiously

From a New York point of view

I’m still on furlough, but…

Posted by: Gary Stern - Posted in American Religious Identification Survey, Catholics in New York, Non-religious, Non-religious numbers grow, Trinity College on Mar 09, 2009

On Friday, I got an advance peek at the new American Religious Identification Survey.

I couldn’t resist writing up a few observations to post this morning.

So here we go:

The percentage of Catholics in New York State has fallen from 44% in 1990 to 37% in 2008. That should be a worrisome decline for the RC Church, I would think, although it’s probably not all that noticeable because the total number of Catholics keeps climbing.

The percentage of other Christians has also slipped (36% to 34%) and the percentage of other religions has also gone down (10% to 8%).

Where did everyone go? You guessed it. The percentage of “nones” — people who do not identify with a faith — doubled from 7% to 14%.

And the percentage of people who “don’t know” or “refused” to answer — probably not folks who belong to houses of worship — doubled from 3% to 6%.

All around the Northeast, the percentages of “nones” jumped between 1990 and 2008: in NJ, 6% to 15%; in Pennsylvania, 6% to 15%; in Massachusetts, 8% to 22%; in New Hampshire, 9% to 29%; in Connecticut, 6% to 14%.

And elsewhere: in Virginia, 7% to 15%; in Kentucky, 7% to 13%; in Texas, 5% to 12%; in Wyoming, 14% to 28%.

Nationally, the “nones” have grown from 8.2% in 1990 to 15% in 2008.

What’s going on here?

An introduction states: “The challenge to Christianity in the U.S. does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion.”

Very interesting, no?

That’s it for now.

Back to furlough. (Don’t forget, editors, I wrote this Friday).