USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

There is much talk about the uniqueness of the generation born between 1981 and 2001. While the category of generations can be dubious, there is little doubt that young people are less interested in joining traditional religious institutions and less subject to religious authority and dogma. Nearly a third of Millennials are religious “nones” who do not affiliate with any tradition.

Through surveys and interviews with young adults of all faiths and no faith, our research has found the Millennial Generation to be more interested in hybrid identities and diverse experiences than any generation before them. As Millennials age, we’ll be watching the ways they opt into or out of religious belief and belonging—as well as how religious institutions respond.

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“Evangelical Millennials are decidedly not moving into mainline Protestant or Catholic churches in any significant numbers. Looking at just the young people who identified as evangelical when we first surveyed them as teenagers,…fully 25 percent of these emerging adults now identify themselves as “not religious” and have few or no ties to any religious group.”

—Richard Flory
“Will the Real Evangelical Millennials Please Stand Up?”