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The U.S. is less religious now. Are we richer for it?

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By most measures, Americans are still religious. As of 2014, the vast majority–about 89%–still believe in God, though only 63% can say that with “absolute certainty,” according to the Pew Research Center. The religiously affiliated are still devout, with two-thirds saying religion is “very important to them” and that they pray daily.

But in recent decades, the percentage of Americans who are unaffiliated with any one religion has inched up to 23% (from just 16% in 2007) as the share of millennials surveyed has increased. The reasons for this shift are many. For one, there’s the demographic shift as even young millennials have reached adulthood. Only 38% of millennials cite religion as being “very important” in their lives. While the U.S. remains the most Christian nation in the world, it has become less Christian; since 2007, the share of Christians has dropped from about 78% to 70%.

There’s also the fact that certain organized religions haven’t necessarily kept pace with social values: More than 60% of Americans now support same-sex marriage, but among the religiously unaffiliated, 85% are in favor of same-sex marriage, and about three-quarters of millennials are supportive. Religious Americans have started to come around on the issue, with more than two-thirds of Christians and white mainline Protestants supporting same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, the many........

© Fast Company