Gallup says 9 in 10 Americans believe in God
(RNS) A new Gallup poll finds 92 percent of Americans say they believe
in God, a figure that has dropped by only a few points since Gallup
first asked the question in the 1940s.
Gallup pollster Frank Newport offered some background on those
Americans' self-reported belief in God has been relatively constant
over the last 6 1/2 decades; the percentage of Americans who respond
that they believe in God now stands within six points of the all-time
high in the 1950s and 1960s.
Previous Gallup surveys have shown that when respondents are given
the ability to express doubts about their belief, the percentage of
Americans who report a certain belief in God drops to 70 to 80 percent.
Additionally, about 12 percent of Americans say they believe in a
universal spirit or higher power instead of "God" when given that
Still, the May 2011 poll reveals that when given only the choice
between believing and not believing in God, more than 9 in 10 Americans
say they do believe.
The age group least likely to claim belief in God is
18-29-year-olds, at 84 percent, compared to 94 percent of older
Americans. In addition, 98 percent of Republicans claim belief, compared
to 90 percent of Democrats and 89 percent of independents.
The most recent (2005) Eurostat study of religious beliefs among
Europeans found that 52 percent of Europeans believed in God, 27 percent
believed in "some sort of spirit or life force," and 18 percent claimed
no belief whatsoever.