Both traditions are losing out to the unaffiliated. If there’s one overarching conclusion that comes from studying survey data of American religion over the last several decades, it is that fewer people identify with an established religious tradition every year. The ranks of religiously unaffiliated, also called the nones, have grown from just about 5 percent in the early 1970s to at least 30 percent in 2020. Religious demography is a zero-sum game. If one group grows larger that means that other groups must be shrinking in size. So that rise in the nones is bad news for churches, pretty…

The 2020 project shows shifting complexity of organized religion. Church historians, sociologists, and statisticians are going county by county, denomination by denomination, group of believers by group of believers, to compile the most complete record of organized religion in the country: the 2020 US Religion Census. The official decennial census conducted by the United States government does not measure religious affiliation. Most data about religion in America comes from polling, but polling has its limits. So every 10 years, the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) counts and maps religious congregations in the US. The project is a…