About 44% of U.S. adults have either switched religious affiliation, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being affiliated with a particular faith or dropped any connection to a specific religious tradition altogether. If changes in affiliation from one type of Protestantism to another are excluded, more than one-quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion — or no religion at all. The 2008 U.S. Religious Landscape survey also found that the number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (16.1%) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children. Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion. Included with the full report is a special interactive feature providing graphic profiles of the geographic and demographic distributions of religious faiths across America. Read More

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