- US population’s percentage of white Christians declined to 46 in 2014
- Percentage had been more than 80 after World War II, and 55 in 2007
- Younger generations are more likely to be non-white and not religious
23:18 EST, 23 November 2015
02:04 EST, 24 November 2015
White Christians now make up less than 50 per cent of all Americans, though polls show they still make up the vast majority of the Republican Party.
The demographic comprised 55 per cent of adults in the country in 2007, but now are only 46 per cent, according to new research data reported by the National Journal’s Next America project.
Surveys done by the Pew Research Center showed that despite the group’s decline, the vast majority of those who identified or leaned Republican, nearly 70 per cent, are white Christians.
Though they once made up more than 80 per cent of Americans, white Christians are no longer a majority in the country. Above, a file photo
Pew said that the demographic made up more than 80 per cent of the population in 1944 and almost 70 per cent in 1984.
Between 2007 and 2014, the year the survey was conducted, the most sizable gains were seen by those who are ‘unaffiliated’ with a religion, which saw particular growth among younger generations.
Research from a 35,000-person survey Pew released earlier this month shows that 77 per cent of Americans are still affiliated with some religion, though 22.8 per cent are not.
Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, were divided into two groups, with 34 per cent of older Millennials unaffiliated and 36 per cent of younger Millennials, born in 1990 through 1996, expressing the same.
The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers and Generation X each had unaffiliated rates of 11, 17 and 23 per cent respectively.
While white Christians shrunk as a percentage of the population overall, they still comprise the vast majority of those in the Republican Party
The majority of those supporting the Democratic Party are also Christian, though more detailed results showed the party is equally split with white Christians, non-white Christians and unaffiliated or non-Christians
Younger Americans are also less white than previous generations, with white non-Hispanics making up less than half of public school students beginning last year.
While the white Christian group has shrunk as part of the American population, it has also become more likely to lean towards the country’s more conservative party.
In 2014, 56 per cent of the group said they identified as Republicans, up eight per cent from 2007. Thirty per cent identified as Democrats and the rest as Independents.
The Pew results showed how the make up of Democratic Party supporters had changed into a broader coalition of groups.
It is now made up relatively equally of three groups: white Christians with 31 per cent, 32 per cent non-white Christians, and 37 per cent non-Christians or those who are unaffiliated.
By contrast, the GOP was comprised of 69 per cent white Christians, 13 per cent non-white Christians and 17 per cent non-Christians or unaffiliated.