Unexpected results in survey on religious beliefs and identity

Challenges stereotypes of liberals and conservatives
An ambitious Baylor University survey on religious identity and beliefs has found, contrary to some expectations, a smaller percentage of people with “no religion” and fewer people who prefer to be called “evangelicals.” It also punctured stereotypes about the faith of political liberals and conservatives.

The first wave of results from 1,721 Americans who last fall mailed back questionnaires asking 77 questions was released September 11 by the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion in Waco, Texas.

About one in nine (10.8 percent) respondents have no religious ties at all. A widely used social survey from 2004 found that the so-called religious “nones” to be 14 percent of the population. But the Baylor questionnaire, unlike other surveys, asked respondents to write the name and address of a place where they worship or occasionally attend.


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