The Great Dechurching of America, 2000-2020: The Rise of a Secular Worldview as the New Civil Religion in America?


The United States is experiencing the greatest religious shift in its history, as tens of millions of formerly regular Christian worshippers nationwide have decided they no longer want to attend church. Some observers call these people the dechurched. Since 2000, about 40 million adults in America who used to go to church no longer do, representing about 16 percent of the United States population. This paper explains what factors have led to this “Great Dechurching” in the United States. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who identify as “Religious Nones” and secular has risen dramatically. What factors explain this major shift as well? Finally, this study explores the implications of these two major shifts in American society.


Derrick Hudson
Director, Graduate Program in Natural Resources and Energy Policy (NREP), Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado, United States


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


The Politics of Religion



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