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.