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Politics Podcast: Americans Are Losing Their Religion. That’s Changing Politics.

In 2020, the number of Americans who said they belonged to a church, mosque or synagogue fell below a majority for the first time since Gallup began tracking this, according to a recent survey. About 20 years ago, 70 percent of Americans belonged to one of those houses of worship. Today, it’s 47 percent. While that doesn’t mean a majority of Americans are areligious, the share of religiously unaffiliated Americans has also been increasing and is now more in line with the share of evangelicals or Catholics.

In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen Druke and Perry Bacon Jr. speak with political scientist and pastor Ryan Burge about how these trends are shaping our society and politics.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.


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Galen Druke is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter.

Perry Bacon Jr. is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

Ryan P. Burge is an assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University and the author of “The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going.” He’s also a pastor in the American Baptist Church.

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