The percentage of Democrats who identify as religious has dropped more than 20 points between 1999 and 2023, a recent Gallup survey found.
When Gallup first polled on the topic in 1999, 60 percent of Democrats identified as religious, as did 62 percent of Republicans. Since then, the percentage of religious Democrats has fallen 23 points to 37 percent.
“During that time, the percentage of Democrats identifying as spiritual but not religious has increased 14 points, while the percentage saying they are neither has tripled,” the survey found.
Gallup Poll: The percentage of Democrats who identify as religious has dropped 23 points in two decades, while religious identification among Republicans and independents has stayed roughly the same.
At the same time, Democrats have become more "spiritual," and the "neither"… pic.twitter.com/5ssmODBgDV
— Katherine Hamilton (@thekat_hamilton) September 23, 2023
At the same time, “there has been no meaningful change in Republicans’ self-identification as religious or spiritual,” and independents have only experienced a modest change. Sixty-one percent of Republicans identify as religious compared to 62 percent in 1999, and 28 percent say they are spiritual compared to 25 percent two decades ago.
The survey found that independents have become slightly less likely to say they are spiritual (from 37 percent to 32 percent) and more likely to say they are neither religious nor spiritual (from 13 percent to 21 percent).
Overall, 47 percent of Americans identify as religious, 33 percent say they are spiritual but not religious, and two percent say they are both. Notably, 18 percent say they are neither, which is twice the proportion Gallup measured when it first asked the question in 1999.
“Over the same period, the percentage identifying as religious has declined by seven percentage points,” according to the survey report.
“The decline in Americans identifying as religious is consistent with the trends for other Gallup measures of religiosity and religious practice, particularly in the past two decades. However, Gallup has documented steeper declines in formal religious practice (church attendance and church membership) than in belief in God and prayer,” the report states.
Indeed, a Gallup poll from June 2022 found that belief in God has fallen the most in recent years among young adults and people on the left of the political spectrum.
“These groups show drops of ten or more percentage points comparing the 2022 figures to an average of the 2013-2017 polls,” that survey found. “Most other key subgroups have experienced at least a modest decline, although conservatives and married adults have had essentially no change.”
“The groups with the largest declines are also the groups that are currently least likely to believe in God, including liberals (62 percent), young adults (68 percent) and Democrats (72 percent). Belief in God is highest among political conservatives (94 percent) and Republicans (92 percent), reflecting that religiosity is a major determinant of political divisions in the U.S.,” the survey report continues.
Similarly, a Wall Street Journal poll released in March found that while 49 percent of respondents say, “I know God really exists, and I have no doubts about it,” only 39 percent say religion is “very important” to them.
“Like patriotism, religion has seen a precipitous decline in ranking of importance: 62 percent of Americans said religion was “very important” in 1998, a sentiment which tumbled down to 48 percent in 2019 before hitting this year’s low percentage,” Breitbart News previously reported, continuing:
Younger respondents are less likely to rank religion as very important to them than seniors, 31 percent to 55 percent. Republicans (53 percent) are also more likely than Democrats (27 percent) and independents (38 percent) to say that religion is “very important.”
Gallup conducted the poll between July 3-27 with 1,015 U.S. adults. The margin of sampling error is ± four percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.