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What Percentage Of The United States Is Atheist?
It is difficult to accurately estimate the percentage of atheists in the United States due to the fact that there are no openly atheist organizations, making it difficult to track members or adherents. Additionally, many atheists do not outwardly identify as such due to fear of discrimination or stigma. That being said, available research suggests that approximately 10-19% of Americans identify as either agnostic or atheist.
A 2018 report from the Pew Research Center showed that only 4% of American adults identify as atheist, and another 5% identify as agnostic. Additionally, the report found that the percentage of those identifying with no particular religion has increased from 16% in 2007 to 23% in 2018. This finding is supported by a 2017 report from Gallup which found that, when asked “What is your religious preference?”, 34% of respondents said “none”.
An important point to consider when looking at the data, however, is that many atheists do not necessarily identify as such, due to the stigma associated with atheism in many parts of the country. The Gallup report found that of the 34% of respondents who said “none” when asked what their religious preference was, only 8% identified as atheist or agnostic. This discrepancy could be due to people who don’t outwardly identify as atheist due to the fear of discrimination or stigma.
In addition to fear of discrimination, it is possible that the accepted definition of atheism has something to do with the difficulty in accurately estimating the percentage of atheists in America. The Pew Research Center defines an atheist as “someone who does not believe in the existence of God or gods”, but this definition excludes those who may identify as spiritual but not necessarily religious. Additionally, the definition does not account for people who may not believe in a traditional god, but may believe in other higher powers.
In conclusion, it is difficult to accurately estimate the percentage of atheists in the United States. Current research suggests that approximately 10-19% of Americans identify as either agnostic or atheist, but this could be an underestimation due to people not outwardly identifying as such due to fear of discrimination or stigma. Additionally, the accepted definition of atheism may not account for those who do not believe in a traditional God, but may believe in other higher powers.