Further confirmation that Evangelicals are shrinking in the US

Back in the very first thread I participated in (back in 2019), I addressed the question of whether the number Evangelical(/Born-Again) Protestants were decreasing in the US. There was a degree of resistance to and/or question of the significance of this data, so I’d like to draw attention to this new report from Pew:

(Hat-tip to Jerry Coyne)

Whilst the original data from that thread showed that BA/E Protestants had decreased from 28% to 25% between 2008 and 2018/19, the new data shows a decrease from 30% in 2007 to 24% in 2021:

Merging this data with population data from here (which shows a 10% increase in US population over the period), we get a decrease in the total BA/E population of the US from 90.2 million to 79.9 million, giving a decrease of 10.3 million (or 11% of the 2007 BA/E population).

By way of comparison, Wikipedia lists the membership of the SBC as 14 million in 2020, so we’re looking at a loss equivalent to three quarters of the SBC.

Although I don’t have access to any sampling error information, I’m fairly sure that this drop is large enough to be statistically significant.

On a side note, the data does continue to show that BA/E has increased as a share of Protestants over this period. However:

  1. the data shows that its share peaked around half-way through this period, and has dropped off (on average) slightly since (the graph above shows that the decrease in non-BA/E Protestants occurred mainly in the first half of the period and the decrease in BA/E Protestants occurred mainly in the latter half); and

  2. the data shows that this increase is mainly due to an increased share of White Protestants, its share of Black Protestants remains fairly stable (unfortunately the survey does not report data on Hispanic Protestants, which, as Hispanics appear to be a growing proportion of the total US population, would be of considerable interest).


Most of the people I know who are Christians are avoiding church right now. So the numbers will be skewed. Other than My Sons Wedding and two funerals I haven’t been a part of any religious service for 2 years because of covid. And most Christians I know are avoiding the hassle for now. Spring may change everything.
That said, my faith and the faith of everyone I know hasn’t deteriorated. I was even thinking of starting a church.

The survey is explicitly on self-identification not church attendance (“Self-identified Christians make up …” in the article snippet above), so no, the numbers are not skewed.


Beth Moore, once the belle of the SBC is now Anglican. Beth Moore Serving Eucharist at Her New Anglican Church Causes Twitter Meltdown

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Hey didn;t survey anyone I know.

“Further confirmation that Evangelicals are shrinking in the US”
The way this is worded it looks like it’s going to be a scientific study on the fact that Evangelicals are actually shrinking in size, getting shorter.

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As a member of the SBC for about 40 years, the SBC should really look at internal issues, rather than what Beth Moore is doing. The “plank in your own eye” is certainly a communal issue here, not just individual.

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Yes they should. I’ve never been a fan of Moore, but I must say that she’s handling this with a lot more grace than I would.

I blame baptism. Total immersion in water is bound to cause shrinkage.

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Maybe they should be eating their veggies. I’ve also heard that hanging from a bar for an hour a day can sometimes help.

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