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The non-religious now make up the biggest demographic among Democrats, and the party is embracing them.
Last week, the Democratic National Committee said religiously unaffiliated Americans, whose numbers have tripled in 20 years, "should be represented, included, and heard by the Party."
Earlier this year, a study found that those with no religious affiliation account for 23.1% of the U.S. population — a 266% increase over the past 30 years.
Other studies peg the non-religious even higher, at 25.5%.
This means the non-religious are the largest religious group in the United States, more individually numerous than Catholics — who linger at 23% — and Protestant Evangelicals — who make up 21%.
According to the Democratic National Committee, 70% of the religiously unaffiliated voted for Democrats in the 2018 midterms.
Accompanying the rapid growth of the non-religious is the demographic decline of Catholicism.
From 2010 to 2016, the raw number of self-identified Catholics in the United States tumbled by half a million — from 59.1 to 58.6 million.
In 2018, the Pew Research Center reported that about 13% of U.S. adults are former Catholics, which means there are now more former Catholics than self-identifying Catholics — a demographic tsunami.
Political experts note that the question of religion — those who believe and those who do not — looks to be the deciding factor in coming U.S. elections, perhaps even as soon as 2020.
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