American church membership falls below 50% towards 2021, for the first time in the last 80 years
U.S. church membership was 73% when Gallup first measured it in 1937. It remained near 70% for 60 years, until it began to decline in 2000. In 2020, it dropped below 50% for the first time in Gallup’s eight-decade trend.
Over the past two decades, “the decline in church membership is primarily a function of the increasing number of Americans who express no religious preference,” according to the Gallup report.
The decline in church membership seems to be tied to population change
As the older generation shrink, their children or grandchildren do not see church membership as important. The bulk of church attendees were boomers and their children who belong to Generation X.
Millennials and Generation Z are increasingly becoming the larger part of the entire U.S. adult population. They are likely uninterested in seeking God through a religious organization.