A San Diego State University study published earlier this month has found that millennials appear to be the least religious generation ever recorded. SDSU psychology professor Jean M. Twenge suggested that one main reason for millennials abandoning religion is rising individualism in American culture, which is less prone to showing commitment to institutions.
“These trends are part of a larger cultural context, a context that is often missing in polls about religion,” Twenge said in an article published by Eureka Alert.
“One context is rising individualism in U.S. culture. Individualism puts the self first, which doesn’t always fit well with the commitment to the institution and other people that religion often requires. As Americans become more individualistic, it makes sense that fewer would commit to religion.”
The detailed study, which published its findings in the journal PLOS One, looked at data from 11.2 million respondents from four nationally representative surveys of U.S. adolescents ages 13 to 18 taken between 1966 and 2014.
The study defined millennials as “American adolescents and emerging adults in the 2010s,” and said that they were “significantly less religious than previous generations (Boomers, Generation X) at the same age.”