By Aaron Earls
More teenagers feel comfortable calling themselves atheist—but Protestant Christianity remains steady in Generation Z compared to previous generations.
New research from Barna paints a complex religious picture for the new generation of adults.
Members of Generation Z are twice as likely to say they are atheist (13 percent) than the rest of the population (6 percent).
Around half of Boomers (48 percent) and Elders, those born before 1946, (51 percent) say they are Protestant or another form of non-Catholic Christianity.
That number drops for Generation X, but it’s been consistent across the youngest three generations: Gen X (43 percent), millennials (44 percent), and Gen Z (42 percent).
Members of Gen Z are less likely to say they’re Catholic. More than 20 percent of every other generation says they are Catholic, but only 17 percent of Generation Z identifies as such.
Generation Z is the most likely to claim membership in a non-Christian faith, but only slightly—7 percent compared to a high of 5 percent among millennials, Gen X, and Boomers.
Only 14 percent of Generation Z members say they are “none”—those who wouldn’t classify themselves in any religion nor as an atheist or agnostic in Barna’s study.
That’s slightly less than both millennials (15 percent) and Generation X (17 percent).
The percentage of agnostic Gen Z’s (8 percent) is around the same as millennials (8 percent) and Gen X (8 percent).
- Redefining Apologetics for a New Generation
- Catching Some Z’s: How Can the Church Reach the Most Connected and Distracted Generation Ever?
- What Churches Need to Know About Generation Z
- 10 Traits of Generation Z
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.