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Americans Losing Faith: 1 in 5 Have No Religion, Atheism on the Rise

The survey, conducted by The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life in conjunction with PBS' Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, found that one-fifth of Americans – and nearly a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today. This marks the highest percentages that have ever been recorded by Pew Research Center polling.

What makes these numbers even more unsettling is the understanding that the shift away from organized religion has been steadily increasing over the past decade or so, with the most dramatic results occurring in the past five years.

Since 2007, the percentage of respondents that have claimed to be religiously unaffiliated increased from 15 percent to 20 percent of all U.S. adults in 2012. Those religiously unaffiliated individuals include more than 13 million atheists and agnostics which represent almost six percent of the U.S. population and also nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation at all.

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