Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mormons surge, Catholics decline in US; half of Americans are nonadherents

(Catholic Culture) The number of Mormons in the United States increased by nearly 50% between 2000 and 2010, while the number of “active members” of the Catholic Church declined by 5%, according to the latest decennial religious census published by the Association of Religion Data Archives.

The census--which allows readers to search for data at the state and county levels--found that only 48.8% of Americans are religious adherents, while 158.1 million Americans are “unclaimed.” The census estimates the number of Catholics in 2010 at 58.9 million; the latest edition of The Official Catholic Directory, using figures provided by dioceses, puts the number at 68.3 million.

The census also estimates that there were 50.0 million evangelical Protestants, 22.7 million mainline Protestants (a decline of 13% over ten years), 4.9 million black Protestants, and 1.1 million Orthodox in the US in 2010. The 13.1 million who belong to other religious bodies include 6.1 million Mormons, 2.6 million Muslims, 2.3 million Jews, 990,000 Buddhists, and 640,000 Hindus.

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