EDUCATION & Does education ‘cure’ people of faith? The data says no.

by Ryan Burge, Religion News Service, 11/10/22.

 It’s been 30 years since The Washington Post published an article on Christian televangelists, describing their followers as “largely poor, uneducated and easy to command.” The pushback was immediate and overwhelming, as thousands flooded the Post’s telephone switchboard and letters poured in to its editors after Pat Robertson — a Yale Law School alum himself — read the offending passage on his television show, “The 700 Club.”

It was a watershed in journalism that woke many mainstream outlets to the reality of evangelicals’ demographics and power.

Yet the bias that says that churches, mosques and synagogues are filled with people who have a low level of education persists. The common assumption is that a formal education, particularly a college degree, is antithetical to religious belonging.

Even a cursory look at recent data reveals that just the opposite is true: Those who are the most likely to be religiously unaffiliated are those with the lowest levels of formal education. The group that is the most likely to align with a faith tradition? Those who have earned a college degree or more.

Chart by Ryan Burge

The Cooperative Election Study, one of the largest publicly available surveys in the United States, began in 2008. In all 14 years since, those Americans who attained no more than a high school diploma have been more likely to report no religious affiliation than college graduates. In 2020, 38% of those who did not finish high school described their religion as atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular. For those who had completed some graduate school, just 32% said that they were among those unaffiliated with any religious community, a group known as the nones.

Read more at … https://religionnews.com/2022/11/10/does-education-cure-people-of-faith-the-data-says-no/?

POLITICAL AFFILIATION & Distribution of party affiliation in various denominations. #graph via @RyanBurge

In the 2020 CCES, there are 44,131 white respondents. There are 1,892 Southern Baptist Republicans. There are 1,107 non-denom Republicans. There are 1,102 United Methodist Republicans. Democrats in the UMC, ELCA, ECUSA, ABCUSA, DoC, CoC, and PCA combined are 1,296.

TRENDS & Among older and younger Americans, men tend to trend more atheist than women. But between the ages of 35 and 45 the genders converge. See the graph.

By , The Conversation, 2/17/21.

Faith in numbers: Behind the gender difference of nonreligious Americans

… According to data from the Nationscape survey, which polled over 6,000 respondents every week for 18 months in the runup to the 2020 election, men are in general more likely than women to describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or nothing in particular. The survey, conducted by the independent Democracy Fund in partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles, was touted as one of the largest such opinion polls ever conducted.

However, tracking the gender gap by age reveals that at one point the gap between men and women narrows. Between the ages of 30 and 45, men are no more likely to be religiously unaffliated than women of the same age. 

But the gap appears again among older Americans. Over the age of 60, men are 5 to 8 percentage points more likely to express no religious affiliation.

Read more at … https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/VjOvW/2/

BORN-AGAIN & The share of Americans of all races who self-identify as “born-again or evangelical” is substantively unchanged in the last 11 years. @RyanBurge

by Ryan Burge, Asst. Prof. of Political Science: @eiu. Cofounder: @Religion_Public. Pastor: @AmericanBaptist.

The phrase, “decline of evangelicalism” is something that needs to be caveated a bunch. Here’s just one. The share of Americans of all races who self-identify as “born-again or evangelical” is substantively unchanged in the last 11 years.

All the hot takes about how Trump has turned large groups of people against evangelicalism just don’t show up in the data, btw.

Share who identify as evangelical/born-again in 2008 vs 2019.

18-35: 28%-27%

36-44: 35%-30%

45-54: 36%-34%

55-64: 37%-37%

65+: 37%-35%

The share of Americans who identify as Protestants has dropped from 42.8% in 2010 to 35.1% in 2019.

The decline in born-again Protestants is 1.2%, it’s 6.5% for not born-again. 55% of

Protestants were born-again in 2010, by 2018 it had risen to 65%.

Follow him on Twitter for reliable and valid research with analysis … @RyanBurge

BORN-AGAIN & The share of Americans of all races who self-identify as “born-again or evangelical” is substantively unchanged in the last 11 years. @RyanBurge

by Ryan Burge, Asst. Prof. of Political Science: @eiu. Cofounder: @Religion_Public. Pastor: @AmericanBaptist.

The phrase, “decline of evangelicalism” is something that needs to be caveated a bunch. Here’s just one. The share of Americans of all races who self-identify as “born-again or evangelical” is substantively unchanged in the last 11 years.

All the hot takes about how Trump has turned large groups of people against evangelicalism just don’t show up in the data, btw.

Share who identify as evangelical/born-again in 2008 vs 2019.

18-35: 28%-27%

36-44: 35%-30%

45-54: 36%-34%

55-64: 37%-37%

65+: 37%-35%

The share of Americans who identify as Protestants has dropped from 42.8% in 2010 to 35.1% in 2019.

The decline in born-again Protestants is 1.2%, it’s 6.5% for not born-again. 55% of

Protestants were born-again in 2010, by 2018 it had risen to 65%.

Follow him on Twitter for reliable and valid research with analysis … @RyanBurge