Millennials, Religion, and Spirituality - Their Story In 5 Stats

Young consumers’ relationship with religion isn’t as simple as you might think. We surveyed 18-34-year-olds to find out how important religion is, and what they believe right now…

A quick scan of headlines about Millennials and religion might have you thinking that the generation has rejected it, en masse. In the last months alone, there’s been:  “Millennials turning away from faith,” “Why Millennial Women Are Embracing Atheism,” “Ten reasons Millennials are backing away from God and Christianity,” “And Then There Were Nones: How Millennials' Flight From Religion Is Transforming American Politics,” and even, “Witchcraft is the perfect religion for liberal Millennials.” But the idea that Millennials are “turning their backs” on religion is likely an oversimplification of their beliefs.

To get a more clear understanding of the generation’s relationship with religion and spirituality, our recent survey asked them everything from their thoughts on religion versus spirituality to whether they believe in God, what role religion plays in their daily lives, and more. From that research, we know that Millennials’ view of religion is hardly cut and dry, and though they may be less traditionally religious than previous generations, there is plenty they still believe in. Here’s a snapshot of Millennials, religion, and spirituality, in five stats:

1. 44% say that religion is important to them, 37% say it is not

The number of Millennials who say that religion is important to them outpaces the number who say it is not—by a small margin. But there is a larger story at work here as well. According to a Pew study, all Americans are moving away from religion. The percentage of adults who consider religion “very important” to them and pray daily declined 3% to 4% from 2007 to 2015. But “skepticism…


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The Newsfeed

“I’ve been using Apple products for years. Although Samsung technology is probably better, I am so used to Apple that I would probably not switch.”—Female, 18, PA

Major financial institutions are still trying to figure Millennials out, so Prudential conducted a survey to gather some much-needed intel. The Great Recession-era adults are pessimistic about their financial futures: 79% don’t believe that “comfortable retirement” will be a possibility when they’re in their 80s and 70% think “it’s impossible” to save the recommended annual amount to make it possible. Ypulse found that saving for retirement falls behind other, more imminent financial priorities. (MediaPost)

Teens are rallying around the issue of gun control in increasing numbers. A recent survey from Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords (conducted by Ypulse) found that gun violence prevention is the top issue young people expect the candidate they vote for in 2018 to take a stance on. Six in ten 15-18-year-olds said they’re “’passionate’ about reducing gun violence” and 72% of 15-30-year-olds agreed that politicians who don’t do more to combat gun violence shouldn’t be re-elected. (Mic)

Need proof that the future of STEM is female? Just take a look at children’s drawings. From 1966-1977, researchers asked 5,000 students to draw a scientist, and about 99% of them drew men. Fast forward the same study to 1985-2016, and one-third of children drew a female scientist. But we still have a long way to go to break gender stereotypes: 14-15-year-olds “drew more male than female scientists by an average ratio of 4-to1." (CNN)

Digital consignment store ThredUp wants to open 100 IRL stores. They’re expanding their physical footprint from two to ten stores this year, with more planned for the future. Why are online-only brands increasingly building bricks-and-mortar? (Think: Glossier, Everlane, even ThredUp competitors like The RealReal). Creating experiences with guests from a common check-out up to an in-store event builds “trust” and “awareness.” (Glossy)

Are Instagram and dating apps “crippling” relationships? Psychotherapist Esther Perel thinks so. Ypulse data shows 27% of 18-35-year-olds have used a dating app, 12% use them weekly, and nearly eight in ten use other social media apps weekly or more often. All that time scrolling past potential partners creates a new kind of loneliness: Instead of feeling “socially isolated,” they’re “experiencing a loss of trust and a loss of capital while you are next to the person with whom you’re not supposed to be lonely.” (Recode)

“We should be nice and good to others because we would want the same in return, being rude to someone doesn't make the situation any better.”—Female, 21, MI

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