Have 8 Million Millennials Really Given Up on Christianity?

Or will those born in the 1980s follow the evangelical rebound of Generation X?

Researchers recently took second looks at the perennial question of whether evangelicals are losing younger generations.

Sociologist Brad Wright examined religious affiliation by age cohort via the General Social Survey. He did that millennials born in the 1980s have shown a steep drop in evangelical affiliation unlike Americans born in the 1940s and 1950s, who steadily increased in evangelical affiliation as they got older.

But he also found that millennials appear to be following a similar rebound trajectory to Americans born in the 1970s, who dropped steeply in evangelical affiliation as twentysomethings (from approximately 27% to 21%), but returned to almost the same starting level of affiliation by their 40s.

Notes Wright:

I wonder if this initial drop downwards contributes to the hyperbole regarding the young–that Evangelical Christianity is facing an imminent collapse. We see higher-than-usual rates of them leaving in their late teens and early twenties, and we project this trend into ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber?
or your full digital access.
July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Read These Next

hide this
Access The Archives

In the Archives

This article is available to CT subscribers only. To continue reading, please subscribe. You'll get immediate access to this article and the entire Christianity Today archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?
or to continue reading.