The number of religious millennials is at an all-time low, a recent study by San Diego State University found. Researchers studied national survey data from 58,893 people over the course of 1972 to 2014, which asked participants a few questions about their religious affiliation, practices and beliefs.
The study found that the United States has been on a steady religious and spiritual decline since 1972, with the major drop starting in the early 2000s, especially for those aged between 18 and 29 years old. As opposed to other research that has found spirituality to be rising rather than organized religion, this study believes America is becoming more secular.
According to Refinery29, about one-third of millennials aren't religiously affiliated. Millennials are also less likely to attend service or pray and also doubt the existence of God. "The large declines in religious practice among young adults are also further evidence that Millennials are the least religious generation in memory, and possibly in American history," Jean M. Twenge, the study's author, said in a press release.
In 2014, five times as many Americans reported not praying when compared to the early 1980s. About twice as many said they didn't believe in God.
However, the belief in the afterlife actually increased. "It might be part of a growing entitlement mentality — thinking you can get something for nothing," Twenge said.