AHA News |  

Humanists Recognize Increasing Number of “Nones” as Feeding Secular Movement’s Growth

Contact: Brian Magee, 202-238-9088, mobile: (202) 681-2425, bmagee@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC, October 9, 2012)—The rise in religiously unaffiliated adults in the U.S. is no passing fad, a new report released today has confirmed.

Over 19% of U.S. adults are “nones,” Americans who do not identify with any religion—and that number continues to grow at a rapid pace, according to the Pew Form on Religion and Public Life’s latest report titled “’Nones’ on the Rise: One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation.” This number includes more than 13 million atheists and agnostics and nearly 33 million who answered “nothing in particular” when asked for their religious affiliation.

“Millions of Americans are discovering that religion isn’t required in order to lead a moral and purposeful life,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

Traditional religions may be unwittingly accelerating the secularization. Speckhardt explained, “We’re seeing evidence that our numbers are bolstered when there’s religious opposition to progress on issues like same-sex marriage, women’s reproductive freedom, and concern for the environment. Young people especially can’t stomach such backward thinking.”

According to the report, the younger generations are increasingly less religious: 32% of people under 30 have no religious affiliation, compared to 9% of those 65 and older. “College students and people starting families and entering new careers are coming out as non-religious in droves,” remarked Speckhardt. “Saying that you are an atheist no longer carries the stigma that it did in years past. More and more are recognizing that you can be good without a belief in a god.”

The American Humanist Association has seen an explosive growth of interest in humanism and atheism. Over the past decade, the 70-year-old organization has seen its supporter base quadruple to 20,000 members and supporters, with over 80,000 followers on Facebook. The Reason Rally, an event in Washington DC held last March and co-sponsored by the American Humanist Association and other freethought groups, drew 25,000 attendees who consider themselves atheists, humanists, and religiously unaffiliated.

The report’s findings also include:

  • From 2007-2012, the “nones” have risen from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults.
  • Eighty-eight percent of the “nones” say they are not looking for a religion.
  • The “nones” are largely Democratic, being 24% of registered voters who vote Democratic or lean that way, the largest block of any “religious” group.
  • 72% of unaffiliated people support abortion rights and 73% support same-sex marriage.

The report can be found online: http://www.pewforum.org/Unaffiliated/nones-on-the-rise.aspx

American Humanist Association

Have you ever worked in an overly religious workplace? Tell us about it.

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday Everyone! From theHumanist.com Comics Section: Ideas Are Fair Gam...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

It is almost Super Bowl Time! So, what team does God root for?

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

It's time to stop Saudi Arabia from continuing to carry out cruel punishment aga...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

The nation’s capital honors reason as personified by Charles Darwin on February...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

I like to finish out the day with a little humor, so I thought this was appropri...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today, on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the house has voted to pass H.R.7...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist Hour Podcast, Marshall Brain talks about the logic of...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Opposing lawyers in our lawsuit challenging coach-led prayer at Chestatee High i...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

"CONTROVERSIAL" billboard from Inland Empire CoR's television coverage from CBS!!

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

The AHA has become familiar with this particular issue over years; sports team p...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Did you see the new film SELMA? The United Coalition of Reason's Jason Heap, rev...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is a little re-cap of religious exemption in the United States.

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

What did you think of President Obama's State of the Union speech? #sotu #humanism

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Would you consider the vandalism of a secular billboard to be a hate crime?

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District’s board of directors will no...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Not only is it possible, it seems quite easy to raise a moral child without usin...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Remembering the dream. #MLKDay

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

A former Chestatee coach told the student players, "Jesus was a wrestler."

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

If you're in the Boston area on Sunday, AHA legal director David Niose will be a...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Awesome to see Bill Maher endorsing the Openly Secular campaign!

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

All eyes will be on you United States Supreme Court! Let's hope you make the rig...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Help us make this year's International Darwin Day the best one yet!

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

"Today, our Nation continues to be shaped by people of every religion and of no...

9 days ago