Report: Religion in U.S. on the decline

A new survey by the Institute for Jewish and Community Research concludes that religious identity in the United States has declined over the past decade.

The San Francisco-based group’s survey, titled The Decline of Religious Identity in the United States, found that 16 percent of respondents declined to identify with a particular faith, up from less than 10 percent in the early ’90s. This no-religion grouping is now the third-largest in the nation, behind Catholics, at 24 percent, and Baptists, at 17 percent.

Although it is too soon to know if this evidence will mark the start of a long-term trend — or exactly what the decline implies — if it persists, these numbers clearly contradict the notion that all Americans are becoming more religious. While some Americans are becoming more religious, a significant number are moving in the other direction, said Gary A. Tobin, the of institute’s president.