Monday, March 03, 2008

American religious groups

I just took a look at the Pew religion survey (which I referenced in the previous entry), and figured out the numbers for each religious group according to the percentages from the survey. I multiplied the percentages by the current number for the U.S. population, which I got from the Census Bureau's website - 303,549,926. Since I was using the Pew survey's percentages, the figures are identical for those religions which had the same percentage in the survey, which is obviously artificial. What has really gotten attention in the press is the fairly large number of unaffiliated people (16%), but I think all of the numbers are interesting.

Following up on an earlier series of posts about the relative numbers of Muslims and Jews in the United States, this survey estimates that the Jewish population is 1.7% of the American population (around 5.2 million people) and that the Muslim population is .6% of the American population (about 1.8 million people). The Muslim figure is at the lower end of the estimated number of Muslims in America. The Jewish figure is in accord with lower estimates of Jewish population made by various recent Jewish population surveys.

Other interesting facts that come from the survey - the total number of Catholics is not much less than the total number of Evangelical Protestants: about 79.8 million vs. 72.5 million. Buddhists and Hindus are 2.1 million and 1.2 million respectively. Unitarians are a little over 900,000, while New Age (including Wiccans and pagans) is about 1.2 million.

American religious groups - estimated total numbers

Evangelical Protestant - 79,833,630
Historically Black Churches - 20,944,944
Mormon - 5,160,348
Orthodox (Christian) - 1,821,299
Jewish - 5,160,348
Muslim - 1,821,299
Unaffiliated - 48,871,538 [this includes: Atheist - 4,856,798, Agnostic - 7,285,198, Nothing in particular - 36,729,541]
Mainline Protestant Churches - 54,942,536 [this includes mainline Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglican/Episcopalians, Disciples of Christ, Congregationalist, Quaker]
Catholic - 72,548,432
Jehovah's Witness - 2,124,849
Buddhist - 2,124,849
Hindu - 1,214,199
Unitarians and other liberal faiths - 2,124,849
New Age - 1,214,199

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