Millennials Are Turning Their Backs on Religion

The majority of millennials report having a spouse who is nonreligious

Basilique Notre Dame de Montréal, Montréal, Canada. (Annie Spratt on Unsplash)
Basilique Notre Dame de Montréal, Montréal, Canada. (Annie Spratt on Unsplash)
By Evan Bleier / December 13, 2019 11:26 am

Data from a new national survey by the American Enterprise Institute shows that millennials (people between the ages of 23 and 38) are turning their backs on religion and not looking back.

After analyzing the data, FiveThirtyEight’s Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Daniel Cox have identified a number of reasons millennials are cutting their ties with organized religion and leaving them cut.

The first is that many millennials did not identify themselves as having strong ties to religion to start with, so returning to a religious community later in life holds little appeal.

Another reason is that the majority of millennials report having a spouse who is nonreligious, so there’s less pressure on that front than previous generations have faced.

Thomson-DeVeaux and Cox also found young parents are no longer sure being involved with religion is a benefit for their children. “Changing views about the relationship between morality and religion also appear to have convinced many young parents that religious institutions are simply irrelevant or unnecessary for their children,” according to FiveThirtyEight.

It’s an interesting situation that could lead to even fewer people being involved with religion moving forward.

“It’s easier to return to something familiar later in life than to try something completely new,” FiveThirtyEight writes. “And if millennials don’t return to religion and instead begin raising a new generation with no religious background, the gulf between religious and secular America may grow even deeper.”

Prior to this new study being conducted, the Pew Research Center found that four in 10 millennials identified themselves as religiously unaffiliated.

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