Study: Millennials May Be the Least Religious Generation in American History

According to new research led by San Diego State University’s Jean Twenge, millennials may be the least religious generation in the history of America. For the study, the team looked at how more than 11 million teens responded to questions about faith, religious organizations, spirituality, prayer and meditation, dating back to the mid 1960s. They found that the group who are now millennials are the least religious ever recorded. She told EurekAlert:

Unlike previous studies, ours is able to show that millennials’ lower religious involvement is due to cultural change, not to millennials being young and unsettled. Millennial adolescents are less religious than Boomers and GenX’ers were at the same age. We also looked at younger ages than the previous studies. More of today’s adolescents are abandoning religion before they reach adulthood, with an increasing number not raised with religion at all.

They found that compared to four decades ago, the number of high school seniors and college students who don’t go to church or religious services has doubled. The cause for the dramatic shifts? Twenge said that a culture that values individualism could be responsible: “Individualism puts the self first, which doesn’t always fit well with the commitment to the institution and other people that religion often requires. As Americans become more individualistic, it makes sense that fewer would commit to religion” …

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