Millenials – Religion, Values and Politics

by | Apr 20, 2012 | Vincentian Family

Survey | A Generation in Transition: Religion, Values, and Politics among College-Age Millennials prioritize jobs, support measures to address economic inequality, show evidence of racial divisionse Millennials  (link may not be active any longer) Millenials speak in their own voice. Millennials prioritize jobs, support measures to address economic inequality, show evidence of racial divisions Some findings from  Public Religion Research Institute and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University Younger Millennials report significant levels of movement from the religious affiliation of their childhood, mostly toward identifying as religiously unaffiliated. While only 11% of Millennials were religiously unaffiliated in childhood, one-quarter (25%) currently identify as unaffiliated, a 14-point increase. Catholics and white mainline Protestants saw the largest net losses due to Millennials’ movement away from their childhood religious affiliation.

  • Today, college-age Millennials are more likely than the general population to be religiously unaffiliated. They are less likely than the general population to identify as white evangelical Protestant or white mainline Protestant.
  • Millennials also hold less traditional or orthodox religious beliefs. Fewer than one-quarter (23%) believe that the Bible is the word of God and should be taken literally, word for word. About 1-in-4 (26%) believe Bible is the word of God, but that not everything in the Bible should be taken literally. Roughly 4-in-10 (37%) say that the Bible is a book written by men and is not the word of God.

Younger Millennials are divided on whether the American Dream – the idea that if you work hard you’ll get ahead – holds true today. They are moderately optimistic about their long-term financial prospects, when they use their parents’ financial situation as a point of comparison. 

  • A plurality (45%) of younger Millennials believe that the American Dream once held true, but not anymore, while 4-in-10 (40%) say the American Dream still holds true. One-in-ten (10%) younger Millennials say that the American Dream never held true.
  • Approximately 4-in-10 (42%) of younger Millennials believe that, in their lifetime, they will be better off than their parents, compared to 18% who expect to be less well off than their parents, and 38% who predict that their financial situation will be about the same as their parents’



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