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Americans and religion increasingly parting ways, new survey shows

By Yasmin Anwar

Religious affiliation in the United States is at its lowest point since it began to be tracked in the 1930s, according to analysis of newly released survey data by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University. Last year, one in five Americans claimed they had no religious preference, more than double the number reported in 1990.

UC Berkeley sociologists Mike Hout and Claude Fischer, along with Mark Chaves of Duke University, analyzed data on religious attitudes as part of the General Social Survey, a highly cited biannual poll conducted by NORC, an independent research institute at the University of Chicago.

Results of the survey – which looked at numerous issues, including attitudes about gun ownership and how tax dollars should be spent, and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation – are being released now and in coming weeks.

Read the rest of the story at UC Berkeley's News Center here.

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