Americans are, by and large, a religious group. According to Gallup in 2020, 73% of Americans thought religion was at least fairly important in their own lives. Four years earlier, Gallup found that 89% of Americans believed in God or a universal spirit.
Stereotypes often cast Republicans as religious and Democrats as atheists; however, survey data shows that while Republicans in surveys do indicate they are somewhat more religious, a high percentage of Americans overall, including many Democrats, also care about religion and its practices.
Pew and Gallup have a long history of surveying questions of religion among Americans. Below are results of some of their most recent surveys indicating common ground between Republicans and Democrats.
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From Pew Research Center (survey conducted February 4-15, 2020)
- 74% of Americans didn’t think of themselves as minority group because of their religious beliefs
- Only 19% of Americans said that Christianity’s influence on American life was increasing, including 23% of Democrats and 14% of Republicans
From GALLUP (survey published in 2020)
- 75% of Americans at least sometimes prayed to God outside of religious services
- 73% of Americans thought religion was at least fairly important in their own lives
- 73% of Americans had at least some confidence in the church or organized religion
From Pew Research Center (survey conducted March 18-April 1, 2019)
- 76% of Americans said that during political elections, churches/other houses of worships shouldn’t come out in favor of one candidate over another
- Only 20% of Americans said that religion does more harm than good to society
- Only 12% of Americans said that religion weakens morality in society
From GALLUP (survey published March 9-29, 2017)
- Only 29% of Americans never attend church or houses of worship
From GALLUP (survey published in 2016)
- 89% of Americans believe in God or a universal spirit
From Pew Research Center (survey conducted in 2014, with data on overall Americans on various pages such as this)
- 77% of Americans said religion is at least somewhat important in their lives, including 84% of Republicans and 72% of Democrats
- 72% of Americans believed in Heaven, including 80% of Republicans and 66% of Democrats
- 71% of Americans prayed at least weekly, including 74% of Republicans and 66% of Democrats
- 62% of Americans felt a sense of wonder about the universe at least once or twice a month, including 63% of Democrats and 61% of Republicans
- 55% of Americans prayed at least daily, including 62% of Republicans and 50% of Democrats
- 55% of Americans believed in Hell, including 69% of Republicans and 51% of Democrats
- Only 31% of Americans thought the word of God should be taken literally, including 36% of Republicans and 26% of Democrats
- Only 30% of Americans attended prayer group at least once a week, including 30% of Republicans and 20% of Democrats
Hyria Stuart is a college student currently studying in Beijing. He majors in social work and serves as a political research assistant (American/international politics) at Boston College while planning to pursue a graduate degree (Public Administration/Policy) in the U.S. He has been interning as a policy analyst and editor since April 2020, focusing on nonpartisan proposals seeking to bring Americans together. He helped re-elect Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) in 2020 as a campaign intern. Hyria has published in “Raise the Voices.” His political bias is Lean Left.
This piece was edited by News Editor Micaela Ricaforte (Center bias), and was reviewed by James Coan (Center) of Braver Angels.