A so-called “non-religious” demographic that lacks faith in a divine authority is positioned to have a significant impact on future generations.
“To be clear, the total number of religiously unaffiliated people … is expected to rise in absolute terms, from 1.17 billion in 2015 to 1.20 billion in 2060,” Pew Research analysis from April 2017 indicated. “But this growth is projected to occur at the same time that other religious groups — and the global population overall — are growing even faster.”
The religious “nones” encompass 22.8 percent of the American population, according to a religious landscape study by Pew Research Center. Pew includes atheists, agnostics, and people who identify as “nothing in particular” in this category.
“Young people who are not particularly religious seem to be much more comfortable identifying as ‘nones’ than are older people who display a similar level of religious observance,” Pew noted.
“Nearly eight in ten millennials with low levels of religious commitment describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or ‘nothing in particular.’ By contrast, just 54 percent of Americans in the Silent and Greatest generations who have low levels of religious commitment say they are unaffiliated,” Pew researchers wrote in 2016.