Here’s some good news from the very large ARIS 2008 survey with a margin of error down to under 0.5 percent, which is pretty darn good for a survey. From www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org
The percentage of Americans claiming no religion, which jumped from 8.2 in 1990 to 14.2 in 2001, has now increased to 15 percent. Given the estimated growth of the American adult population since the last census from 207 million to 228 million, that reflects an additional 4.7 million “Nones.” Northern New England has now taken over from the Pacific Northwest as the least religious section of the country, with Vermont, at 34 percent “Nones,” leading all other states by a full 9 points. “Many people thought our 2001 finding was an anomaly,” Keysar said. We now know it wasn’t. The ‘Nones’ are the only group to have grown in every state of the Union.”
Only 1.6 percent of Americans call themselves atheist or agnostic. But based on stated beliefs, 12 percent are atheist (no God) or agnostic (unsure), while 12 percent more are deistic (believe in a higher power but not a personal God). The number of outright atheists has nearly doubled since 2001, from 900 thousand to 1.6 million. Twenty-seven percent of Americans do not expect a religious funeral at their death.
Of course I detest their simplistic tags of “no God” and “unsure” as being completely inaccurate.