Profiles of the Godless: Results from a Survey of the Nonreligious

August 5, 2009

Amherst, NY (August 5, 2009)—The best statistical portrait yet available of atheists, agnostics, humanists and other nonreligious Americans, based on data collected from nearly 6,000 respondents, has just been published in Free Inquiry magazine (Vol. 29, No. 5, pps. 41-45). Luke Galen, an associate professor at Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, Mich.), reported on the Non-Religious Identification Survey (NRIS), which he conducted in conjunction with the Center for Inquiry, a secular think tank.

“NRIS is the first study of its type to direct a full range of sociological survey questions to a population of ‘nones,’ as they have come to be known,” said Thomas Flynn, editor of Free Inquiry . (“Nones” are respondents who tell pollsters they identify with no religious tradition.) “For decades, pollsters and social scientists have used surveys to measure the religious beliefs and attitudes of believers. We have mountains of data, from the substantial to the silly; there’s data on the nonreligious too, but it’s far skimpier and suffers from having been collected accidentally.”

To view the full press release, as well as Galen's in-depth  Free Inquiry article about the study and his PowerPoint slide presentation, visit the CFI Press Center's Profiles of the Godless page .