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Racial and ethnic minorities now make up 41% of Catholics (up from 35% in 2007), 24% of evangelical Protestants (up from 19%) and 14% of mainline Protestants (up from 9%).Religious intermarriage also appears to be on the rise: Among Americans who have gotten married since 2010, nearly four-in-ten (39%) report that they are in religiously mixed marriages, compared with 19% among those who got married before 1960.This makes it possible to paint demographic and religious profiles of numerous denominations that cannot be described by smaller surveys.The most recent Religious Landscape Study also was designed to obtain a minimum of 300 interviews with respondents in each state and the District of Columbia as well as to represent the country’s largest metropolitan areas, enabling an assessment of the religious composition not just of the nation as a whole, but also of individual states and localities. adults are not reachable by telephone or do not speak English or Spanish well enough to participate in the survey.This decline is larger than the combined margins of sampling error in the twin surveys conducted seven years apart.
This group includes self-identified atheists and agnostics as well as those who describe their religion as “nothing in particular.” The unaffiliated are generally less religiously observant than people who identify with a religion. In fact, many people who are unaffiliated with a religion believe in God, pray at least occasionally and think of themselves as spiritual people.
Over the same period, the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – has jumped more than six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%.
And the share of Americans who identify with non-Christian faiths also has inched up, rising 1.2 percentage points, from 4.7% in 2007 to 5.9% in 2014.
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The rise in intermarriage appears to be linked with the growth of the religiously unaffiliated population.