By Lisa Cannon Green
Evangelical Christians are significantly more likely to be married than Americans who aren’t religious—but they’re a long way from first place.
Next up are several mainline Protestant denominations—the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Anglican Church, and United Methodist Church—all ranging from 61 to 64 percent.
An evangelical group—Southern Baptists—finally shows up in seventh place, tied with Hindus at 60 percent.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, people in the African Methodist Episcopal Church are least likely to be married at 32 percent. They’re slightly below agnostics at 35 percent.
Overall, evangelical and mainline Protestant Christians are equally likely to be married, according to Pew. Slightly more than half (55 percent) of adults in each group reported being married in 2014. Both are above the national average of 48 percent.
In contrast, just 37 percent of the religiously unaffiliated are married. This group includes atheists, agnostics, and those who say their religion is “nothing in particular.”
Age may be one reason, Pew notes. More than a third (35 percent) of religiously unaffiliated adults are 18 to 29 years old, an age group in which just 1 in 6 people (16 percent) are married.
Only 16 percent of mainline Protestant adults and 17 percent of evangelical adults are that young, according to Pew.
But age doesn’t account for all of the difference.
“Even when the analysis is restricted to adults over the age of 30, self-identified atheists, agnostics, and those whose religion is nothing in particular are still somewhat less likely than Mormons, Jews, evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants, and Catholics to be married,” Pew reports.
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LISA CANNON GREEN (@lisacgreen) is senior editor of Facts & Trends.