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A Non-Christian America

According to projections by the Pew Research Center, the number of Christians in the U.S. could fall below 50% of the population by the year 2070. 

Pew modeled four hypothetical scenarios in an attempt to forecast how the U.S. religious landscape might change over the next 50 years. The Center estimates that in 2020, approximately 64% of Americans (including children) were Christians, with “nones” accounting for 30%. The remaining 6% were composed of those embracing other religions, including Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists.

So what dynamics were used to shape the four models? Essentially, “whether religious switching continues at recent rates, speeds up or stops entirely, the projections show Christians of all ages shrinking from 64% to at least 54% and possibly as low as 35%.

During that same time the “rise of the nones” will continue, growing from the current 30% to at least 34% or, much more likely, a whopping 52% of the U.S. population.

Granted, these are not predictions, per se, but formal demographic projections. What can be counted on, in every scenario, is “Christians continuing to shrink as a share of the U.S. population…. At the same time, the unaffiliated are projected to grow.”

I predicted this in my book The Rise of the Nones.

I provided additional research in support of the trend being ongoing in Meet Generation Z.

It is simply assumed as the cultural wallpaper of our day in my forthcoming book, Hybrid Church.

Sometimes I really, really hate it when I’m right.

James Emery White 

Sources

“Modeling the Future of Religion in America,” Pew Research Center, September 13, 2022, read online.

Daniel Silliman, “Decline of Christianity Shows No Signs of Stopping,” Christianity Today, September 13, 2022, read online.

Bob Smietana, “Fewer than half of Americans may be Christian by 2070, according to new projections,” Religion News Service, September 13, 2022, read online

About the Author

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and a former professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book After “I Believe” is now available on Amazon or your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit churchandculture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive, read the latest church and culture news from around the world, and listen to the Church & Culture Podcast. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @JamesEmeryWhite.

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and a former professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. 

His latest book, After “I Believe,” is now available on Amazon or your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit churchandculture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive, read the latest church and culture news from around the world, and listen to the Church & Culture Podcast. 

Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @JamesEmeryWhite.

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