All around the world, people are beginning to turn their backs on religion while each generation is becoming less religious than the previous. The new study report shows that with each passing generation, in much of the Western developed world, religious beliefs have greatly decline.
According to the research from Duke University and Univeristy College London (UCL), Americans, who were initially thought to have resisted the trend, have also fallen in its religious beliefs and church attendance like the other developed countries. And, the belief in God is dropping as well.
The study published in the American Journal of Sociology examined US data from the General Social Survey, which is conducted every two years, in comparisons with data from Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, revealing an overall drop in religious belief over time.
The report on Daily Mail says in the United States, this drop has been very gradual, making it difficult for scientists to detect due to lack of data. The decline, they found, has occurred generationally.
David Voas, a social scientist with UCL, who’s also a co-author of the study, said the declines are slow, but the signs are unmistakable
“It has become clear that American religiosity has been declining for decades, and the decline is driven by the same dynamic – generational differences – that has driven religious decline across the developed world.”
In one example of how each generation has become less religious than before, the team found that 41 percent of people aged 70 and older reported they attend church services at least once a month.
For people just under that age bracket, 60 and younger, only 18 percent attend church at this frequency.
And, just 45 percent of people ages 18-30 reported they have ‘no doubt God exists,’ compared with 68 percent of those 65 and older who said the same.
Another co-author of the study, Mark Chaves, a professor of Sociology, Divinity, and Religion at Duke, confirmed that looking at the trajectory and the generational dynamic that is producing the trajectory, America is no exception at all.
The researchers say the data remains consistent over time, reflecting the trend seen elsewhere in the world.
‘If you break it down over five-year chunks,’ Chaves said, ‘each age group is a little less religious than the one before it.’