DEMOGRAPHICS & Religious Trends, Affiliations & Church Attendance #PewResearch

How They View Themselves: Compassion, Trust, Optimism, ReligionThere are greater differences in people’s perception of whether they are religious and spiritual. Overall, 46% say they are “religious,” while slightly more (52%) say they are “spiritual.”

As might be expected, the highly religious typology groups – Steadfast Conservatives, Business Conservatives and the Faith and Family Left – are most likely to say both of these descriptions apply to them.

In general, there is little difference between the percentage of people who see themselves as religious and those who say they are spiritual. For example, 64% of Business Conservatives say they are religious; about as many say they are spiritual (66%).

However, among Solid Liberals, more call themselves spiritual (42%) than say they are religious (27%). Among the Next Generation Left, more also describe themselves as spiritual (43%) than religious (32%).

The typology groups also express somewhat different attitudes about the future, reflecting, in part, their political beliefs and financial circumstances.

Most Americans (59%) say they are generally upbeat and optimistic, but this is not a majority view across all typology groups. Only about half of the Hard-Pressed Skeptics (48%) and the Faith and Family Left (50%) – who have the lowest family incomes of the typology groups – say the phrase “upbeat and optimistic” describes them well.

Steadfast Conservatives, who are much better off financially than these two groups, also are relatively gloomy: 51% describe themselves as upbeat and optimistic. A positive outlook is most prevalent among the affluent Business Conservatives (68%) and the Next Generation Left (70%). Most Solid Liberals (64%) and Young Outsiders (61%) also describe themselves as upbeat and optimistic.

Religious Affiliation and Practice

Steadfast Conservatives are one of the most religious groups in the typology. Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) identify as Protestant, a much higher share than among the public overall (49%). And the share of Steadfast Conservatives who are white evangelical Protestants (43%) is more than twice as large as in the public generally (18%).

The Democratic-leaning Faith and Family Left are as likely as Steadfast Conservatives to be affiliated with a religion (just 7% are unaffiliated), but fewer are white evangelical Protestants and somewhat more identify as Catholic.

Solid Liberals are the least religious group – 41% are not affiliated with a religion; 10% describe themselves as atheists, 9% say they are agnostic and 22% say they are “nothing in particular.”

Religious Affiliation and the Typology Groups

How Often Do You Attend Religious Services?Most Steadfast Conservatives regularly attend religious services. Overall, 55% say they attend weekly or more. The Faith and Family Left are nearly as likely to go to religious services at least once a week (51%).

Many Business Conservatives also regularly attend services: 47% go at least once a week, compared with 35% of the public as a whole.

Only about two-in-ten of the Next Generation Left (21%) and Solid Liberals (19%) go to religious services weekly, making them the two typology groups least likely to be regular attenders.

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