Friday, September 11, 2015

There are more Atheists and Agnostics entering Harvard this year than Catholics or Protestants.

Courtesy of the Washington Post: 

Harvard’s combined number of atheists and agnostics among its incoming class exceeds the number of Catholics and Protestants, as Pew Research Center’s Conrad Hackett noted. The number appears to be a striking contrast with the rest of the U.S. millennial population, those from ages 18 to 34. 

Pew’s survey suggested a decline in Christianity in the U.S., especially among millennials, though Harvard’s freshman still don’t appear to reflect the rest of millennials in the U.S. 

Among the general population in the U.S., 52 percent of millennials identify as Protestant or Catholic, according to Pew, compared to 34.1 percent of Harvard’s incoming class. And 13 percent of millennial Americans identify as atheist or agnostic, compared with 37.9 percent of Harvard freshmen who said they were atheist or agnostic. 

Part of the reason why American Christianity is on the decline is due to the number of people who don’t self-identify with a religion anymore. Pew also asks survey respondents if they are unaffiliated with faith, and 36 percent of them describe themselves as not affiliated with religion.

This is just the kind of thing that makes me hopeful for the future of our country. 

The more critical thinkers that we produce, no longer hindered by superstitious nonsense, the stronger and more progressive we become as a nation. 


  1. Anonymous2:15 AM

    Still makes me laugh when I think about Jedi being used as a write-in "Other" answer to religion surveys like this.

  2. Anonymous4:49 AM

    This is great news!!

    Thank you for posting, Gryph! Happy Friday

  3. Good news! ...but we need figures on how many graduates on leaving Harvard still have a religious affiliation.

    1. Anonymous8:24 AM

      Yes! Personally, I entered college labeling myself as Catholic and Atheist when I graduated.

  4. Anonymous5:31 AM

    There is hope after all. I am just so sick of the way the Reich Wing religious nuts have taken over politics. But perhaps this is their last throes before they start to have less influence. Which maybe why they are getting so aggressive.

    We should all worry, though. A wounded animal is very dangerous.

  5. Otto Katz5:59 AM

    I don't know, I'm about a progressive as they come. And I'm Episcopalian.

  6. Anonymous6:05 AM

    "There are more atheists..."

    Thank God!!

  7. Anonymous6:59 AM

    Christ's philosophy is a progressive one. It's really time for the xtian taliban to stop calling themselves christian. Theya re anything but.

  8. Frosty no longer AK7:18 AM

    People smart enough to be entering Harvard would tend be progressive and smart enough not to adhere to the tenets of Stone Age superstitions. A great number of people still profess a religion because it is not PC to disavow religion.

    Personally, I lost the potential for a new friend in a new town when I was asked about my religious affiliation. Honesty dictated that I tell the truth - I have none. And I couldn't care less about being PC.

  9. Anonymous9:18 AM

    On the bottom bar of the chart -- if the 0.4 percent of entering Harvard students are smart enough to get into Harvard, how can they be dumb enough to be Mormons?


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