Research published this week reveals a surprising trend among the American generation X—the group who came of age in the late 1980s and 1990s and are known for their rejection of all things conventional. It appears that in comparison to the baby boomers, Gen-Xers are significantly more loyal to religion.
Scientists analyzed survey responses from more than 37,000 people between the years 1973 to 2006. Their results are published in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. They found that boomers are 40 to 50 percent more likely to abandon their religious faith, than gen-Xers.
Interesting to note, from those surveyed, the number of Americans with no religious affiliation doubled in the 1990s and continues to increase through the first decade of this century.
The researchers attribute this drop off to the boomers who were likely to have abandoned religion in young adulthood perhaps due to the rejection of organized authority or what the researchers call the “1960s effect.”
So what’s up with this newfound loyalty in the younger generation X?
Well the authors note that it probably has to do with the expansion of the “religious marketplace” in recent decades, and suggest that instead of this trend watering down religious faith, they say that more choices is influencing the increase in affiliation and commitment to religion.