CRF Blog

New Poll on Religious Influence in American Society

by Damon Huss

A recent Gallup poll reveals that about 77 percent of Americans believe that religion is “losing its influence” in American society. At the same time, 75 percent of those polled said that it would be a positive development if more Americans were religious.

Since 1957, Gallup, Inc. company has been asking Americans this question: “At the present time, do you think religion as a whole is increasing its influence on American life or losing its influence?” The most recent statistic shows Americans’ most negative assessment of the impact of religion in America since 1970, when 75 percent of Americans felt that religion was losing influence.

When asked the question “If more Americans were religious, would that be positive or negative for American society?”, 92 percent of those for whom religion is very important thought that it would be positive for more Americans to be religious. It is interesting to note, however, that 31 percent of those for whom religion was not very important also thought that it would be positive for more Americans to be religious.

Gallup, Inc. concludes that the view of most Americans “does not appear to reflect personal religiousness, but rather appears to reflect widely shared judgments on factors relating to the course of events in the U.S. ” Americans’ view that religion is losing influence appears to be a negative assessment of the direction the U.S. is heading.

For a detailed view of the poll, visit the Gallup site here.