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If current trends continue, the incidence of U.S. citizens who do not identify with a particular religion may reach 25% within the next 20 years, according to a study released by Trinity College.
Jesse Galef of the Secular Coalition for America told the Religious News Service that he hopes the trend dispels stereotypes that people who do not identify with a religion, also known as "nones," have no morals because of their lack of religion.
The study indicates that 15% of people in the United States currently consider themselves nonreligious and that they represent the fastest growing segment of the national religious landscape; among the youngest age demographic surveyed, 22% called themselves nonreligious. This group also trends toward declining to identify with a
political party. Forty percent are independent voters while 34% are
Democrats and 13% are Republicans.
Only 7% of nonreligious respondents said they consider themselves atheists, while half of nones believe in a higher being or a personal god. A third believe that humans "definitely" evolved from earlier species of animals.
Of those who converted from a religious background, 35% were Catholic until around age 12.