It's Not Just the Coca-Cola Ad. America's Growing Religious Diversity Is "Dramatic."
Coca-Cola's surprisingly controversial Super Bowl ad highlights the diversity of America. While ethnic and religious diversity are as old as the nation, recent years have seen massive shifts in both demographics and belief. Numbers from the Public Religion Research Institute sum up a few key indicators:
More than 7-in-10 (71%) seniors identify as some type of white Christian, including white evangelical Protestant (29%) white mainline Protestant (23%), or white Catholic (17%). In contrast, less than 3-in-10 (28%) of Millennials identify as white Christian (10% white evangelical Protestant, 9% white mainline Protestant, and 6% white Catholic). Seniors are about three times more likely than Millennials to identify as white Catholic (17% vs. 6%). Conversely, Hispanic Catholics make up a much larger proportion of Millennials (10%) than seniors (3%). Among Americans under the age of 30, the majority (56%) of Catholics are now Hispanic. Another important religious difference separating seniors and Millennials is the number of each who identify as religiously unaffiliated. Nearly one-third (31%) of Millennials identify as religiously unaffiliated, compared to roughly 1-in-10 (11%) seniors. Millennials (13%) are also about four times more likely than seniors (3%) to identify as atheist or agnostic.
One of the most interesting factors? The sharp generational lines in the numbers. Leadership Journal regularly reports on emerging trends, generational ministrys and Millennials. For one place to start, read "The Millennial Man."
Copyright © 2014 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
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