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Noon Edition

Trends in religious affiliation, social and political behavior


(WFIU/WTIU: File Photo)

Noon Edition airs on Fridays at noon on WFIU.   

According to data collected by the General Social Survey, Americans are becoming less attached to organized religion. 

The survey said that in 1984, seven percent of Americans preferred no religion. But in 2016 that was up to 22 percent. 

The data also shows that while non-affiliation increased, people who have strong religious identification has not decreased dramatically. In 1976, 39 percent of Americans declared strong religious affiliation, according to the GSS data. That dropped only two percentage points by 2016. 

The Pew Research Center’s research said younger Americans are less affiliated than previous generations.

The center said in 2010 that one-in-four millennials were unaffiliated with a particular religion, while 20 percent of Generation X identified as unaffiliated in the 1990s. 

Recent research from the Pew Research Center found that White Americans who viewed Donald Trump favorably in 2016 but didn’t identify as evangelical then were more likely than skeptics to begin identifying as evangelical Protestant by 2020.

The center also said more than 60 percent of U.S. congregants trusted their religious leaders to provide guidance on the COVID-19 vaccine.

This week on Noon Edition, we’ll talk with religious researchers and a local religious leader about religion and how it affects social and political behavior.

You can follow us on Twitter@NoonEditionor send us questions for the show at   

Note-This week, our guests and hosts will participate remotely to avoid risk of spreading infection.    


Greg Smith, associate director of research at the Pew Research Institute

Clarence Boone, assistant pastor at Light House Community Church

Michael Hout, Professor of Sociology, Director of Center for Advanced Social Science Research

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