A new Gallup
poll finds 92 percent of Americans say they believe in God, a figure that has
dropped by only a few points since Gallup
first asked the question in the 1940s.
Gallup pollster Frank Newport
offered some background on those numbers:
Americans’ self-reported belief in God has been relatively constant over the
last 6 1/2 decades; the percentage of Americans who respond that they believe
in God now stands within six points of the all-time high in the 1950s and
Previous Gallup surveys have shown
that when respondents are given the ability to express doubts about their
belief, the percentage of Americans who report a certain belief in God drops to
70 to 80 percent.
Additionally, about 12 percent of Americans say they believe in a universal
spirit or higher power instead of “God” when given that option.
Still, the May 2011 poll reveals that when given only the choice between
believing and not believing in God, more than 9 in 10 Americans say they do
The age group least likely to claim belief in God is 18-29-year-olds, at 84
percent, compared to 94 percent of older Americans. In addition, 98 percent of
Republicans claim belief, compared to 90 percent of Democrats and 89 percent of
The most recent (2005) Eurostat study of religious beliefs among Europeans
found that 52 percent of Europeans believed in God, 27 percent believed in “some
sort of spirit or life force,” and 18 percent claimed no belief whatsoever.
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Reimink writes for The Grand Rapids Press in Grand