Non-religious Americans are usually regarded as a tiny minority, but a new survey suggests that they’re much more prevalent than commonly believed. The Gallup poll, with a 95 percent likelihood of a margin of error of minus or plus 1 percentage point on the national scale, finds that non-religious Americans make up 13.2 percent of the American population.
The group includes avowed atheists and agnostics, as well as Americans who just plain say that they don’t have any religious identity. The results of the Gallup poll are in accordance with the American Religious Identification Survey released earlier this year, which found that non-religious Americans had risen to about 15 percent of the American population. The similarity of these two independent sources will make it more difficult for religious believers to dismiss the results as the result of some kind of unspecified methodological error.
The new poll shows that non-religious Americans are a significant cultural force in the United States, at 733 percent of American followers of Judaism and 825 percent of the number of Mormons. Non-religious Americans outnumber many Protestant sects as well, and are at 54 percent of the number of Catholics.