U.S. Religious Landscape Survey

In recent decades, much high-quality research has been done on the religious makeup of the United States and on the way religion relates to politics and public life. Nevertheless, there are still major gaps in our knowledge of the American religious landscape.

For instance, estimates of the size of religious communities in the U.S. – especially the smaller groups – are often contested, basic information on the religious beliefs and practices of many groups is lacking and there is little solid data on the demographic characteristics of many of America’s newer faiths.

The increasing diversity of the American religious landscape, the remarkable dynamism of its faith communities and the pervasive presence of religion in the American public square all serve to underscore the pressing need for up-to-date, reliable information on these and other questions.

Building on its own work as well as others’ previous research, the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project has conducted a path-breaking survey on American religion that seeks to address many of these important issues. The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey includes reliable estimates of the size of religious groups in the United States as well as detailed information on their demographic characteristics, religious beliefs and practices, and basic social and political values. Based on interviews with a representative sample of more than 35,000 Americans, this study will serve as the baseline for similar large-scale surveys the project plans to conduct periodically.

For the online presentation of the findings of the Landscape Survey, which includes interactive mapping, dynamic charts that illustrate key findings and a variety of other tools that are designed to help users delve deeper into the material, visit the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project.



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    Oct 01, 2008 - Trust asked Forum Director Luis Lugo and Senior Fellow John Green about the findings of the recent U.S. Religious Landscape Survey.

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