Just a short post as I’m planning a longer post on this topic at T&S next week. A few people were mentioning Jana Riess’ talk at the UVU Mormon Studies conference last week. She posted a bit on it at her blog.
While I don’t really disagree with most she says, I do want to raise an important point. We have to be careful comparing statistics from different surveys. Typically they are apples to oranges comparisons with different methodologies – especially in terms of how they decide how to deal with getting diversity into their polls. So, for instance, a poll of 20,000 Mormons might seem like a huge sample size, it wouldn’t be terribly representative of American Mormons if it mainly consisted of people from Rexsburg and Provo. Getting both a representative sample and and sufficiently large sample size is difficult.
Continue reading Stats on LDS Retention
Somehow I missed that UVU (just a few blocks from work) was having a religious liberty symposium this week and a Mormon studies conference. The symposium included some big names like columnist Ross Douthat. Alas work would have kept me from going anyway. But I am sad to miss it as some of the talks sounded quite interesting.
I really need to make it more of a point to get out to some of these things – especially when they are so close by.
Continue reading Mormon Millennials Becoming More Republican
I’d missed this when it came out. Gallup does regular interviews and keeps track of the religion of people who respond to their polls. For 2015 that was 174,000 people. Their rate for Mormons was 2% compared with Christans at 75.2% and Nones at 19.6%. This is significantly higher than Pew (1.6% Mormon; 70.6% Christian; 22.8% None).
Pew has up an interesting graph on how religious various states are. Surprisingly Utah ranks 11th. Unsurprisingly the areas near the Mississippi delta are most religious. Having lived there I tend to think the way the religiosity there is manifest isn’t necessarily healthy. Although I’m sure some might say the same about here in Utah.
Most of the statistics aren’t new. It seems that only a small group outside of the key Mormon constituency are that religious. Of course most of us likely know very religious non-members. But there is also a pretty strong secular aspect to Utah that I think those living here note.
I was so busy this fall that I never got to comment on the latest Pew data on religion. While I missed the discussion back in November I hope people won’t mind me taking it up now.
The main, if unsurprising, conclusion Pew gave was that the US was becoming less religion. This is largely due to the rise of the Nones who have been increasing in number since the mid 90’s. Among those who are still religious though (about ¾) Pew notes “there has been no discernible drop in most measures of religious commitment. Indeed by some conventional measures, religiously affiliated Americans are, on average, even more devout than they were a few years ago.”
The interesting drops are those who believe in God dropped from 92% to 89% from 2007 to 2014. Those certain God exists dropped far more sharply from 71% to 63%. A lot of this is again tied to the rise of the Nones. Pew has their population rising from 16% to 23%. Which is quite high.
Now I’ve argued that a lot of this shift of the Nones is largely people with loose commitment to religion who in the past would have said they were baptist and perhaps attended the occasional event. While there was a use for some loose commitment (or at least telling people they were committed) now there just isn’t that ground.
Continue reading Pew on Religion 2014
Pew has some interesting facts about religion in America. Protestants are now less than 50% of the country. Typically 1/5 of Americans share their faith each week online.
I wanted to touch on one more thing in the recent Pew data. Retention. Now the 2007 Pew survey found that Mormons had a retention rate for those raised Mormon of 70% with 15% converting to an other religion and 14% going to the Nones. The recent Pew survey found that the rate was 64%. How much of this is due to sampling (Mormons made up only 1.6% of the sample and thus were around 500 people) and how much is an actual retention drop isn’t clear. The rate joining the Nones is higher too rising from 14% to 21%.
The Mormon retention rate roughly matches Evangelicalism (where they mean still self-identifying as Evangelical and not a switch to an other Christian group). Black protestants are higher at 70%. Non-Christian groups had the highest retention with Jews at 75%, Muslims at 77% and Hindus at 80%. All those groups primarily lose member to the Nones.
Continue reading Pew Mormon Retention
From the comments of Razib’s post he notes that the amount of faith in God has been relatively stable for about 100 years. This is pretty surprising to me. In 1916 42% were atheists while 45% are today. Relatedly someone on Twitter noted Lemaître who came up with Hubble’s Law and the Big Bang was a Catholic priest.
Razib on whether a religious person can be a good scientist. Interesting thoughts on how religion is often viewed. Somewhat related to my post from last month on religion and Nobel Prizes and the demographics of science and religion.