US religion study
Women in the US remain more religious than men, according to a detailed study by leading US university Trinity College, Connecticut, and the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS).
The university report, American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population, has profiled the 34 million Americans who claim no affiliation to any religion whatsoever. It built on the findings of ARIS, which questioned 54,461 adults in either English or Spanish between February and November 2008.
The researchers found that the percentage of adult Americans who claim no religious affiliation had grown from 8.2 per cent in 1990 to 15 per cent in 2008.
However, the profile said that while religious decline is happening, it was being slowed down by the greater faith of US women.
The research showed that 19 per cent of American men have no religion, compared with only 12 per cent of women who said they did not have a faith. Even when they identify themselves as having no religion, women are less likely to be atheists and to take hard-line sceptical positions.
The study was conducted by Trinity professors Barry Kosmin and Ariela Keysar, assisted by Professor Ryan Cragun of the University of Tampa and Juhem Navarro-Rivera of the University of Connecticut.
Kosmin said: ‘The secularity of the US public is undoubtedly increasing but the pace varies considerably between how individuals belong, believe and behave. The overall trend is being pushed by men and the young but slowed down by women’s greater religiosity’.