A large survey shows a drop in the number of “no’s” and an increasingly homogeneous Republican Party, dominated by white Christians.
As a group, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who represent 1% of the American population and 2% of white Christians, are neither the oldest nor the youngest religious contingent in the country. .
The median age of Latter-day Saints is 47 (matching the country’s overall median but up from 44 seven years ago), while the oldest believers are white evangelical Protestants, with a median age 56, and the youngest are Muslims, with a median age of 33.
These are among the findings of the PRRI’s 2020 Census of American Religion, which provides, according to a Thursday statement, “unprecedented county-level data on religious identity and diversity in the United States.”
The survey is based on interviews “with more than 500,000 people surveyed between 2013 and 2020,” the statement said, and “reveals the changing dynamics of American religious affiliation across geography, race and ethnicity. , age and political affiliation over the past decade “.
Other findings include:
â¢ The highest concentration of Latter-day Saints in counties over 10,000 is – unsurprisingly – Utah County (72%), home to the first school of the faith, Brigham Young University in Provo . The second highest was Madison County, Idaho (68%), which includes Rexburg and BYU-Idaho.
â¢ Some 40% of Latter-day Saints have graduated from a four-year college – fewer than Hindus (67%), Unitarian Universalists (59%), American Jews (58%), Orthodox Christians (48% ) and white Catholics (42%).
â¢ The proportion of Americans not affiliated with religion – the non-so-called – peaked at “26% in 2018, but has since declined slightly, to 23% in 2020”. The largest group to move away from religious associations were young people, according to the survey. âIn 1986, only 10% of people aged 18 to 29 identified themselves as having no religious affiliation. By 2016, that number had increased to 38% and decreased slightly in 2020, to 36%.
â¢ More than 4 in 10 Americans (44%) identify as âwhite Christians,â the majority being âEvangelical Protestants (14%), White Protestants (non-Evangelicals) (16%) or White Catholics (12%) ). Plus lower percentages who identify as Latter-day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Orthodox Christians.
â¢ The proportion of white Christians in the religious landscape “bottomed out in 2018, at 42%”, according to the survey, “and rebounded slightly in 2019 and 2020, to 44%”.
â¢ On the issue of politics, the poll reaffirmed that most Latter-day Saints identify as Republicans (39%) or Independents (42%). Then-President Donald Trump won Utah with 58% of the vote in 2020. Only 16% of Latter-day Saints call themselves Democrats.
â¢ Christians constitute the majority of both parties – 83% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats. âThe biggest difference in the religious makeup of self-identified Republicans and Democrats is the ratio of white Christians to Christians of color,â the survey said. âNearly 7 in 10 Republicans (68%) identify as white and Christian, compared to less than 4 in 10 Democrats (39%). “
The survey noted that “black Protestants, more heavily concentrated in the South and Southeast, identify overwhelmingly with the Democratic Party” – 65% – while only 7% identify as Republicans and 26% identify with the Democratic Party. identify as independent. “
“Analysis of the religious identities of the two political parties reveals an increasingly homogeneous Republican Party, made up overwhelmingly of white Christians, even as the country continues to diversify,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO and founder from PRRI, in the press release. . “In terms of racial and religious diversity, self-identified Democrats look like 30-year-old America, while Republicans look like 70-year-old America.”
The overall margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 0.5 percentage point. The total sample size in Utah was 554.