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The percentage of Americans who say they believe in God has dipped to the lowest number in the past nearly 80 years, according to a new Gallup poll published Friday.
The Values and Belief poll, conducted from May 2 to 22, showed 81% of people answered that they believe in God. That is down six percentage points from the 87% of respondents who said they believed in God in the 2017 poll. This year is the lowest percentage in Gallup’s trend since the public opinion polling company first asked the question in 1944.
This year’s poll found 17% of Americans said they do not believe in God.
When asking the question first in 1944, again in 1947, and twice each in the 1950s and 1960s, a consistent 98% of respondents said they believed in God. When Gallup asked the question nearly five decades later, in 2011, 92% of Americans said they believed in God.
A subsequent survey in 2013 found belief in God dipping below 90% to 87%, roughly where it stood in three subsequent updates between 2014 and 2017 before this year’s drop to 81%.
The poll found that the belief in God has plummeted the most in recent years among young adults and people on the left of the political spectrum, namely liberals and Democrats.
Gallup said those groups show drops of 10 or more percentage points comparing the 2022 figures to an average of the 2013-2017 polls. Most other key subgroups have experienced at least a modest decline, although conservatives and married adults have had essentially no change, according to the polling company.
The poll found the groups with the largest declines are also the groups that are currently least likely to believe in God, including liberals (62%), young adults (68%) and Democrats (72%). Belief in God is highest among political conservatives (94%) and Republicans (92%), which Gallup said reflects “that religiosity is a major determinant of political divisions in the U.S.”