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America’s Protestant majority is fading, University of Chicago research shows

The increasing secularization of American society has taken a particular toll on Protestant identity, presenting the prospect that after more than 200 years of history, the United States may soon no longer be a majority Protestant country, according to a new study by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.

The percentage of the population that is Protestant has been falling and will likely fall below 50 percent by mid-decade and may be there already, the research reported.

From 1972 until 1993 the Protestant share of the population remained stable. But then a decline set in. In 1993, 63 percent of Americans were Protestant, but by 2002, the number was 52 percent, NORC research found. During the same time, the number of people who said they had no religion went up from 9 percent to nearly 14 percent.

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