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Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:00 AM

Why Americans Are Losing Their Religion at a Startling Rate [View all]

Here are some of the factors contributing to the massive decline in religiosity in America.


New research from Allen Downey, a computer scientist at Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, shows a startling correlation between the rise of the Internet and the decline of religious affiliation in the United States.

According to MIT Technology Review, back in 1990 only eight percent of the U.S. population did not have a religious affiliation. Twenty years later in 2010 that number was up to 18 percent. That is a jump of 25 million people. Americans seem to be losing their religion, and from Downey’s research we may have an answer.

The data Downey looked at is from the General Social Survey, which according to MIT Technology Review is “a widely respected sociological survey carried out by the University of Chicago.” Since 1972, the survey has been measuring the population’s demographics and attitudes.

The approach to looking at the survey material was to see how socioeconomic status, education, religious upbringing and other factors correlated with the drop in religious affiliation. This is a good time to talk about the difference between correlation and causation. The data from the survey shows a relationship between these factors and decreased religious affiliation, but not direct causation.


http://www.alternet.org/belief/why-americans-are-losing-their-religion-startling-rate

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