Two months ago the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) released a research report on the rise of the Nones in US religion. Referring to them as the unaffiliated, the research has been published as Exodus: Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They’re Unlikely to Come Back. In the publication of their research, the research team articulates their findings regarding the growth of the unaffiliated as the largest category of religious identification in the last few generations of folks in the US.
In the body of the report, the research team covers a variety of angles regarding being unaffiliated; raised in a non-religious household, no longer believing their religion’s teachings, divorce, parents with two different religions, only one religious parent, clergy sexual scandals and the treatment of the LGBTQ community, to name a few.
The research also identifies that all unaffiliated are not the same, they break into three subgroups; rejectionists (the largest group), apathiests and the unattached believers. The research team then explores the dynamics of each of these subgroups; their race & ethnicity, their level of education, their concepts of religion & morality, their feelings about religion and their political influence.
That last bit, their political influence, explores the fact that the unaffiliated group is growing, but not always voting. And so the last section of the paper examines the unaffiliated and the 2016 Presidential campaign.
This information and the charts (just two of many) are from the PRRI report in its postscript document format which is available for download.