A recent study on Americans’ religiosity has shown conflicting findings: less Americans pray these days, but more believe in life after death.
According to a study conducted by a group of psychology researchers from various American universities, the number of Americans who said they believe in God has hit the lowest point in 2014 where 22 percent of adults surveyed said they don’t believe in God. That’s 69 percent higher than those adults who expressed doubt in God when the similar survey was conducted in the 1980s, where only 13 percent said they don’t believe in God.
“By 2014, American adults were less likely to pray, believe in God, identify as religious, attend religious services, or believe the Bible was the word of God than they were in previous decades. Thus, the decline in religious affiliation found in previous research has now extended to religious service attendance and, by 2008 and afterward, to personal religious belief and practice,” the researcher discussion read as published by the SAGE Journals.
For millennials, or those aged between 18-29 years old, nearly a third of them or 30 percent, said they don’t believe in God by 2014. That’s more than double the number of individuals of the same age who said they don’t believe in God in the 1980s at 12 percent.
Although the percentage of young Americans (ages 18-29) identify themselves as “not religious at all” has increased by 33 percent from 15 percent in the 1980s to 20 percent in 2014, the number of Americans who believe in an afterlife has increased.
In 2014, Americans who believe that there’s life after death was pegged at 15 percent as compared to the 7 percent of Americans who said there’s probably life after death; that’s more than twice the number of afterlife believers in 2014 than when the survey was conducted in the 1980s.
The research team was headed by psychology professor Jean M. Twenge of the San Diego State University and other researchers such as Ryne Sherman from Florida Atlantic University and Case Western Reserve University ‘s Julie J. Exline.