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Posted: September 09, 2017

Percentage of white American Christians decreasing, report says

Schoolboy praying with eyes closed in empty church
Allen Donikowski/Getty Images
Schoolboy praying with eyes closed in empty church

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

The percentage of white Christians in America is decreasing, according to a new report.

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The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) published the report Wednesday, with findings that U.S. residents who identify as white and Christian are less than half of the country’s population. 

The shift comes with increased immigration into the country and as more people reject organized religion altogether, The Associated Press reported.

Forty years ago, about eight in 10 Americans were white Christians. Now, only 43 percent of the population identifies as such. Still, 70 percent of the overall population identifies as Christian, according to the PRRI.

The survey, conducted from January 2016 to January 2017, collected information from more than 100,000 participants. It found that 25 percent of the population doesn’t identify with a faith group. 

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Predominantly white Protestant denominations, such as Presbyterians and Lutherans, have seen drops in membership, and the number of white evangelicals has decreased, the survey found.

As the presence of Latino Catholics in the U.S. has increased, the percentage of white American Catholics has decreased; approximately 55 percent of American Catholics identify as white, compared with 87 percent 25 years ago. And some white Catholics are leaving the church.

The percentage of Americans who identify as white evangelicals has decreased too.

According to the survey, about 17 percent of Americans identify as white evangelical, compared with 23 percent 10 years ago.

In regard to political affiliation, the PRRI found that more than 33 percent of Republicans identify as white evangelicals and nearly 75 percent identify as white Christians.

Only 29 percent of those who identify as Democrats are white Christians. Forty percent of Democrats surveyed said they have no religious affiliation, according to the report.

Read more at The Associated Press.


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