The number of Americans who believe in God has taken a big dive, according to the results of a new poll from Gallup.
The pollster said while 81% say now that they believe in God, that’s down from 87% from just 2017, and is a new low in the organization’s polling.
Between 1944 and 2011, more than 90% said they believed in God.
But the new Values and Beliefs poll from May 2-22 confirmed 17% of Americans claiming they do not believe in God.
“Gallup first asked this question in 1944, repeating it again in 1947 and twice each in the 1950s and 1960s. In those latter four surveys, a consistent 98% said they believed in God. When Gallup asked the question nearly five decades later, in 2011, 92% of Americans said they believed in God,” the pollster reported.
In 2013, a poll found the figure dropping below 90% — to 87%, where it stayed until this year.
“Gallup has also in recent years asked other questions aimed at measuring belief in God or a higher power. All find the vast majority of Americans saying they believe; when given the option, 5% to 10% have said they were ‘unsure,'” Gallup said.
Dividing up the responses, Gallup found “young adults and people on the left of the political spectrum (liberals and Democrats)” where a belief in God is declining.
Among conservatives and married adults, there has been 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%), young adults (68%) and Democrats (72%). Belief in God is highest among political conservatives (94%) and Republicans (92%), reflecting that religiosity is a major determinant of political divisions in the U.S.,” the pollster said.
In a followup, the survey found about half of those who believe in God, 42% of Americans say God hears prayers and can intervene on a person’s behalf.
Astonishingly, 28% say God hears prayers but cannot do anything.
“Nearly three-quarters of the most religious Americans, defined as those who attend religious services every week, say they believe God hears prayers and can intervene, as do slightly more than half of conservatives and Republicans, as well as 25% of liberals and 32% of Democrats,” Gallup reported.
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