Are Americans religious? Aren’t the religious ones all Protestants?

Among some Brazilian communities, I have heard doubts about whether Americans are very religious or not. I get the sense that this comes from the perception that developed countries (those “successful” countries) don’t put very much importance on religion, while instead, focusing on the force of their nation over others. Sometimes that worship seems to turn towards consumerism. It may be true that as a society Americans tend to focus a lot on success, having money, or otherwise capitalist notions.

However, Americans in general tend to be religious in some way. Out of over 320 million people, over 200 million claim to be Christian. To touch on the second question, yes, almost half the country follows some kind of Protestant denomination. But out of those;

  • 162 million Protestants
  • 76 million are Catholic
  • 23 million religious non-Christians

Now, there is a hefty Unaffiliated group, about 20% of the country, to give an idea. In that range, you can see anything from agnostic to atheist to people who “don’t know” or just don’t have a preference. Some of these simply didn’t answer this part of the census.

I use the numbers to give you an idea of the scope of how many individuals make up this huge country. Even among religious people, you have those that don’t regularly practice or don’t claim their religion out of personal purposes. Some people, like me, are spiritual and have a more general, naturalist vision of religion that isn’t tied to any specific church. In the end, the U.S. is still one of the most religious countries on Earth, albeit Protestant in the majority. It actually has the most people who consider religion important among developed nations, besides those in Southern Europe (think Portugal, Italy, etc.). It’s also super diverse in the religions practiced, from Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, and all the kinds of Islam and Christianity imaginable.

But 76 million Catholics still counts as a lot of people, right?

Resources:

Demographics of the United States: https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/united-states-population

The religious build of the U.S.: https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/

Importance of religion by country: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Importance_of_religion_by_country

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No Expert But Of Himself — aka Trystn Waller. Just writing what I know, a bit of what I think I know, hopefully I help others know a bit more than they knew.

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No Expert But Of Himself — aka Trystn Waller. Just writing what I know, a bit of what I think I know, hopefully I help others know a bit more than they knew.

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