People used to gather at the church to observe Lord’s Day. In the last few years, there have been fewer and fewer churchgoers going. The church membership is the lowest it has been in a long time. According to a recent poll from Gallup, memberships have been on the decline since last year and dropped below 50% for the first time in the company’s eight decades of taking the poll.
The year when everything shut down was 2020. Almost half of Americans said they were members of a church, synagogue, or mosque. That is down from 70% in 1999 and 50% in the previous year.
For context, when Gallup first measured the U.S. church membership in 1937, it was at 73% and stayed there over the next 60 years. When the 21st century began, things began to decline for church memberships, and now they are at an all-time low.
What is the reason for the drop? Gallup says the decline in church membership is due to the increasing number of Americans who don’t have a religious preference. Over the last two decades, the number of Americans who don’t identify with any one religion has increased from 8% in 1998-2000 to 13% in 2008-2010 and 21% over the past three years.
Even people with a religious preference are contributing to the decline in church membership. Between 1998 and 2000 an average of 73% of religious Americans belonged to a church, synagogue, or mosque. In the past three years, the average has gone down.
Gallup likewise jumps into the age and generational contrasts that could be ascribed to the downfall. “66% of conservatives — U.S. grown-ups brought into the world before 1946 — have a place with a congregation, contrasted and 58% of Gen X-ers, half of those in Generation X, and 36% of twenty to thirty-year-olds,” the organization makes sense of. Presently, it appears to be that recent college grads and Generation Z-ers are less inclined to join church than their more seasoned Baby Boomer partners.
The number of people with no religious affiliation has increased from 22% a decade ago. The majority of the Generation Z crew don’t have any religious preferences.
Check out the Gallup analysis to learn more about the study.
Are you an avid churchgoer? What do you think about the decline in church membership? What do you think could be behind this?