WASHINGTON (BP) — Belief in God, Satan, angels, heaven and hell is at a 23-year low in America, Gallup Poll said in its latest update.
But most Americans still believe in the spiritual entities.
- 74 percent believe in God compared to 90 percent in 2001, the greatest decline in the study;
- 69 percent believe in angels, down from 79 percent in 2001;
- 67 percent believe in heaven, down from 83 percent;
- 59 percent believe in hell, down from 71 percent, and
- 58 percent believe in Satan, down from 68 percent.
Protestants, frequent church attendees and Republicans were the most likely to express belief in all five entities. Smaller majorities of Catholics and Democrats also expressed belief, but among infrequent church attendees, most only believe in God and angels.
Other demographic groups more likely to believe in all five entities are adults ages 34 and older, adults without a college degree, and adults with lower household incomes. Specifically, Gallup said those making less than $40,000 a year registered higher in belief than those making over $100,000.
Some don’t believe in the entities and others were undecided. Gallup found:
- 12 percent don’t believe in God, and 14 percent were undecided;
- 18 percent don’t believe in angels, and 13 percent were undecided;
- 18 percent don’t believe in heaven, with 15 percent undecided;
- 27 percent don’t believe in hell, with 14 percent undecided, and
- 28 percent don’t believe in the devil, with 14 percent undecided.
Gallup has polled Americans on the topic five times since its initial poll in 2001, with the May 2023 poll including 1,011 adults, Gallup said July 20 in releasing the findings.
“Gallup has documented sharp declines in church attendance, confidence in organized religion and religious identification in recent years.
“As the percentage of believers has dropped over the past two decades, the corresponding increases have occurred mostly in nonbelief, with much smaller increases in uncertainty,” Gallup said. “This is true for all but belief in God, which has seen nearly equal increases in uncertainty and nonbelief.”
Among weekly church attendees, belief in the entities ranges from 98 percent to 84 percent, with 98 percent believing in God, 94 percent in angels, 92 percent in heaven, 86 percent in Satan, and 84 percent in hell. The numbers are lower among those who attend church less than monthly, with 57 percent believing in God, 52 percent believing in angels, 48 percent believing in heaven, 41 percent believing in hell and 40 percent believing in Satan.
Gallup didn’t explore reasons for the decline. More on the study is available here.