The number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (about 16%) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children. Through the 1980s, surveys consistently found that between 5% and 8% of the public was not affiliated with any particular religion. Although one-quarter of this group consists of those who describe themselves as either atheist or agnostic (1.6% and 2.4% of the adult population overall, respectively), the majority of the unaffiliated population is made up of people who simply describe their religion as “nothing in particular.” Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.