Wednesday, August 11, 2010

8% of Americans don't believe in God

[Opinions Dynamics Corp. Poll, 2004]

Fully 92% of Americans believe in God.

85% believe in heaven.

82% believe in miracles.

Belief in God has remained about the same, but belief in the devil is gaining ground: 71% today compared to only 63% in 1997.

34% of Americans believe in ghosts, and 34% (the same people?) believe in UFOs.

29% believe in astrology.

25% believe in reincarnation.

24% believe in witches.

American women are more likely to believe in these things than men (including 12% more that believe in miracles and 8% more that believe in heaven.)

Men are much more likely to believe in UFOs.

86% of adults believe in hell, but that drops down to 68% after age 70. Go figure.

Democrats are less likely to believe in God, (by 8 percentage points) heaven (by 10 percentage points). or hell (15 percentage points.) But Democrats are more likely to believe in astrology, reincarnation, ghosts, and UFOs.

According to a 2008 Gallup poll, 93% of Americans believe in God (or in “some” higher power.)


  1. Ah surveys, don't you love them!
    Only 34% believe in UFO's? 24% believe in witches? That reminds me, I must phone my sister....

  2. I'm always leery or reading too much into polls, especially noting that there are certain personality types more likely to entertain questioning. For instance, my husband would hang up as a matter of course; I wouldn't.

    But also, the results are dependent on how the question is asked (and it isn't necessarily the same as how it's described in the "results").

    My personal problem is that many answers aren't black and white. Do I believe in UFO's? I'm skeptical of reports I've heard so far, but I'm confident there is extraterrestrial intelligence elsewhere in the universe and don't preclude the possibility they could come here. So, do I believe or not?

    I wonder if my MIL, the ordained pagan priestess is on their call list? That would be interesting.

  3. Gallup poll. Hmm. I see. "Some" higher power offers a multitude of ideas.

    There must be a good few people who manage to reconcile some interestingly conflicting ideas.

  4. Stephanie, it never occurred to me that rather than commenting on the content of the survey, you would spend most of your time telling why you think the statistical science of the national poll-taker was faulty. I'm guessing you don't believe the results of this poll are valad. Ok. It was only for fun.

  5. As for me, I don't do telephone surveys either. But that is fine with the survey-taker since smartass argumentative people like me are not what scientific pollsters want anyway. I don't think there is a "call list". I think the calling is a sampling by zip code and I think the first few questions tells them if you are an idiot or if you are serious. I may be wrong. At any rate, from what I know about statistics, you pay more attention to the cluster graph than the weirdos on the fringe (though in this case, maybe they are all weirdos. :)

    I also think national polsters know how to phrase questions if they want a non-loaded, non-political response. They would be phrase much different, I would think, than a "pollster" who was trying to show Obama was still popular.

  6. Assuming "anyone" wants a non-loaded non-political response. Someone pays for 'em.



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