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Self-Described Religious Identification Among American Adults

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Religious group200820011990
Total
(in thousands)
Percent of
population
Total
(in thousands)
Percent of
population
Total
(in thousands)
Percent of
population
Total Christian 173,402 76.0 159,50676.7%151,49686.4%
 Catholic 57,199 25.1 50,87324.546,00426.2
 Baptist 36,148 15.8 33,83016.333,96419.4
 Protestant1 5,187 2.3 4,6472.217,2149.8
 Methodist/Wesleyan 11,366 5.0 14,1506.814,1748.1
 Lutheran 8,674 3.8 9,5804.69,1105.2
 Christian1 16,834 7.4 14,1506.88,0734.6
 Presbyterian 4,723 2.1 5,5962.74,9852.8
 Pentecostal/Charismatic 5,416 2.4 4,4072.13,1911.8
 Episcopalian/Anglican 2,405 1.1 3,4511.73,0421.7
 Mormon/Latter-day
 Saints
3,158 1.4 2,7871.32,4871.4
 Churches of Christ 1,921 0.8 2,5931.21,7691.0
 Jehovah’s Witness 1,914 0.8 1,3310.61,3810.8
 Seventh-Day Adventist 938 0.4 7240.36680.4
 Assemblies of God 810 0.4 1,1060.56600.4
 Holiness/Holy n.a. n.a. 5690.36100.3
 Congregational/United
 Church of Christ
736 0.3 1,3780.75990.3
 Church of the Nazarene n.a. n.a. 5440.35490.3
 Church of God 663 0.3 9440.55310.3
 Orthodox (Eastern) n.a. n.a. 6450.35020.3
 Evangelical2 2,154 0.9 1,0320.52420.1
 Mennonite n.a. n.a. 3460.22350.1
 Christian Science n.a. n.a. 1940.12140.1
 Church of the Brethren n.a. n.a. 3580.22060.1
 Born Again2 2,154 0.9 560.02040.1
 Nondenominational2 8,032 3.5 2,4891.21950.1
 Disciples of Christ n.a. n.a. 4920.21440.1
 Reformed/Dutch Reform n.a. n.a. 2890.11610.1
 Apostolic/New Apostolic n.a. n.a. 2540.11170.1
 Quaker n.a. n.a. 2170.167*
 Full Gospel n.a. n.a. 1680.151*
 Christian Reform n.a. n.a. 79*40*
 Foursquare Gospel n.a. n.a. 70*28*
 Fundamentalist n.a. n.a. 61*27*
 Salvation Army n.a. n.a. 25*27*
 Independent
 Christian Church
n.a. n.a. 71*25*
Total other religions 8,796 3.9 7,7403.7%5,8533.3
 Jewish3 2,680 1.2 2,8311.43,1371.8
 Muslim/Islamic 1,349 0.6 1,1040.55270.3
 Buddhist 1,189 0.5 1,0820.54010.2
 Unitarian/Universalist n.a. n.a. 6290.35020.3
 Hindu n.a. n.a. 7660.42270.1
 Native American n.a. n.a. 103*47*
 Scientologist n.a. n.a. 55*45*
 Baha’i n.a. n.a. 84*28*
 Taoist n.a. n.a. 40*23*
 New Age n.a. n.a. 68*20*
 Eckankar n.a. n.a. 26*18*
 Rastafarian n.a. n.a. 11*14*
 Sikh n.a. n.a. 57*13*
 Wiccan n.a. n.a. 1340.18*
 Deity n.a. n.a. 49*6*
 Druid n.a. n.a. 33*(NA)
 Santeria n.a. n.a. 22*(NA)
 Pagan n.a. n.a. 1400.1(NA)
 Spiritualist n.a. n.a. 1160.1(NA)
 Ethical Culture n.a. n.a. 4*(NA)
 Other unclassified n.a. n.a. 3860.28370.5
No religion specified,
 total
34,169 15.0 29,48114.214,3318.2
 Atheist n.a. n.a. 9020.4(NA)
 Agnostic n.a. n.a. 9910.51,1860.7
 Humanist n.a. n.a. 49*29*
 Secular n.a. n.a. 53*(NA)
 No religion 34,169 15.0 27,48613.213,1167.5
Refused to reply
 to question
11,815 5.2 11,2465.44,0312.3
NOTES: n.a. indicates not available. * Less than 0.05%.
1. No denomination supplied.
2. These categories are the most unstable as they do not refer to clearly identifiable denominations as much as underlying feelings about religion. Thus they may be the most subject to fluctuation over time. In 2008, Evangelical and Born Again categories were combined; numbers reflect the total combination of the two groups.
3. Refers to Jews by religion only.
The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) 2001 was based on a random telephone survey of 50,281 (in 2008 there were 54,461 respondents) American residential households in the continental U.S.A. (48 states). Respondents were asked to describe themselves in terms of religion with an open-ended question. The self-description of respondents was not based on whether established religious bodies considered them to be members; rather, the survey sought to determine whether the respondents themselves regarded themselves as adherents of a religious community. These figures thus represent subjective, rather than objective, standards of religious identification. For the 2008 survey, many of previously designated religions were collated into 13 religious groupings. For example, Protestant Denomination: Churches of Christ, Seventh Day Adventist, Mennonite, Brethren, Apostle, Covenant, Christian Reform, Jehovah's Witness, Christian Science, Messianic Jews.
Source: 1990, Barry A. Kosmin and Seymour P. Lachman, '“One Nation Under God: Religion in Contemporary American Society,”' 1993; 2001 data, Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar, American Religious Identification Survey, 2001 (copyright). From Religion in a Free Market (Paramount Market Publishing, 2005); 2008 data, American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS 2008), on the web at ARIS 2008.

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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