Professor Scott Thumma, who teaches about the sociology of religion and directs the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, was quoted in a widely distributed Associated Press article about declining church membership in the U.S. over the last 20 years.
The article cites a new Gallup poll that found “the percentage of U.S. adults who belong to a church or other religious institution has plunged by 20 percentage points over the past two decades, hitting a low of 50 percent last year.”
Professor Thumma pointed to several factors, including that “religious young adults are delaying marriage, postponing having children, and, when they do, having fewer children.”
“I’ve encountered many persons in churches that have attended for several years but did not officially join or become a member,” he also said. “This is also evident in persons switching from one congregation to another without joining any.”