Statistics


doubtThe sociological data is clear: Christianity is on the decline in the United States.  The decline is not limited to one “type” of Christianity (though it is more drastic in some than others), nor is it limited to a particular race, gender, or age.  It is pervasive, but the most significant loss of faith is occurring in the Millennial generation.  Only 56% of Millennials identify as Christians.[1]  Larry Barnett of The Next Generation Project (TNGP) sought to discover the cause.[2]

Using three large representative data sources[3], he discovered that doubt is the major reason people are abandoning their Christian faith.  Christians who report having little or no doubt regarding the truth of Christianity are the most likely to be confessing Christians, regardless of age.  Millennial non-doubters are just as likely as all other generations of non-doubters to be confessing Christians.  Those who harbor significant doubts about the truth of Christianity, however, are more likely to abandon their Christian faith.  Age is a significant factor among the doubters, with Millennial doubters being much more likely to abandon Christianity than older Christians.

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teenpregrates1280The Guttmacher Institute released the latest data for teen (age 15-19) pregnancy and abortion rates (for the year 2011).  Teen abortion and pregnancy rates have dropped to their lowest point in 40 years.  Here’s a summary of the data:

  • Pregnancies: 553,000 pregnancies (52.4 pregnancies p/ 1,000 teens – approximate 5%), which is 23% lower than 2008 (68.2 pregnancies p/ 1,000 teens). If we consider just 15-17 year old teens, the pregnancy rate is just 26.7.
  • Births:3 births p/ 1,000 teens (down from 40.2 in 2008)
  • Abortions:5 abortions per 1,000 teens (down from 18.1 in 2008). This is a 69% drop from the peak rate of 44.0 in 1988. The overall percentage of pregnancies that end in abortion dropped from 46% in 1985 to 31% in 2007, and remained the same in 2011.  So while the abortion rate dropped since 2007, the percentage of abortions is the same because the pregnancy rate has dropped since 2007.

This is welcome news!  You can read the full report here.

declineEarlier this month the Guttmacher Institute released the latest abortion figures (for 2011), which revealed that the number of abortions in this country have once again began to decline despite the continued growth in population.  In 2011, there were 1.06 million abortions – a 13% decline from 2008.  The 2011 abortion rate also declined 13% from 2008, with 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44.  Compare this to the 1981 peak of 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women.

There has also been a big shift in the way women procure abortions.  In 2008, 17% of all abortions were performed via chemicals (such as RU-486).  As of 2011, that number increased to 23%.

There are also fewer abortion providers (4% fewer than 2008) and abortion clinics (1% fewer than 2008).

See Abortion Incidence and Service Availability in the United States, 2011 for details.

EFCIn 2011, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) Youth and Young Adult Ministry Roundtable commissioned a survey of 2,049 Canadian adults age 18-34 who attended church as a child on a weekly basis to see how many were still active members of the Christian church. They found that:

  • Only 1/3 were still attending church on a regular basis
  • 1/3 no longer identify as Christian
  • The primary reasons cited for abandoning the church were hypocrisy, judgmentalism, exclusivity, and failure.

We must do better at living out our faith, and preparing our young people with good theology and apologetics.

The details are contained in Hemorrhaging Faith: Why and When Canadian Young Adults are Leaving, Staying and Returning to Church. It costs $15 to download, so I didn’t download it. But if any of my readers want to do so, and wish to share some additional details or insights of the report, I welcome you to do so.

See http://hemorrhagingfaith.com/ for more information.

A new Harris Poll confirms that Christian beliefs are on the decline in this country.  There is a greater need for apologetic engagement with culture than ever before.
HT: CNS News

religion_check_boxOver at Uncommon Descent, vjtorley reports on a recent survey of 996 adults conducted between October 17-18, 2013 regarding American religious beliefs.  Some of the more notable findings include:

  • 3 out of 4 adults believe in God: 76% believe in God, 14% don’t believe in God, and 10% are not sure.
  • Young adults aged 18-29 are the least likely to believe in God.  Only 63% believe in God.  A full 25% don’t believe in God, and 12% are not sure, for a total of 37% God doubters/deniers.  That’s 2 out of 5!  Compare this to other age groups:
    • 30-44 = 14% atheist
    • 45-64 = 9% atheist
    • 65+ = 6% atheist

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The Heritage Foundation did a study that discovered children raised in a home with married parents are 82% less likely to face poverty.  Only 7% of children living in homes that fall below the poverty line were living with married parents. – Salvo Magazine, Issue 23, Winter 2012, p. 20.

If we truly want to fight poverty, then let’s promote marriage!

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