Younger Americans are much more likely than older ones to say that leading a religious life is the least important aspect of a happy life
Slowly, but steadily, America is becoming a less religious country. In the last six years alone the percentage of religiously unaffiliated Americans has increased from 15% to 20%, while the evangelical movement has lost members and political influence. Nevertheless, Americans are still far more religious than people in many other countries, with only 27% of French and 37% of Britons saying that they believe in a God.
The latest research from YouGov shows that the younger you are, the more likely you are to say that leading a religious life is the least important aspect of having a happy life. When asked to rank various things - from health and wealth, to marriage, children and careers - 46% of Americans under the age of 30 said that a religious life was the least important of the six. This falls steadily as Americans get older, with only 22% of over-65s saying that leading a religious life is the least important aspect of a happy life.
The proportion of Americans who say that leading a religious life is the most important aspect of a happy life, however, is relatively constant despite age, with 15% of under-30s and 19% of 30 to 44 year-olds saying that it is the 'most' important aspect of a happy life.
Overall, most Americans (56%) say that having good health is the most important part of having a happy life. Leading a religious life does come second at 17%, ahead of being married (11%) and having children (6%).
Full poll results can be found here.