By Monte Sahlin
"Nones" are people who when they are asked in a survey, What is your religious preference? answer with "none." That is their religious preference is no religion. One of major trends underway in America today is the rapid growth of "nones," especially among new generations. (As we have mentioned often in this space.)
New data reports the percentage of adults who are "nones" in each of the major metropolitan areas of the United States. For those who have studied American history and geography, it comes as no surprise that (with one exception) the cities with the higher percentage of "nones" are all in the West and the North. The South and the Midwest have fewer "nones" and more people interested in and involved in religion.
Portland (Oregon) is the metro area with the highest percentage of "nones." Overall 42 percent of the adult residents have no religious preference.
Three metros tie for second place, each with a third of their adult residents who are "nones." These are all in the West: Seattle, San Francisco and Denver.
Six metros each have about a quarter of their adult residents who are "nones."
- 26 percent in Phoenix (Arizona)
- 25 percent in Tampa-St. Petersburg (Florida)
- 25 percent each in Los Angeles, Boston, Columbus, Detroit
All of these metro areas are also among the leaders in cultural and technological innovation, as well as having above-average proportions of young adults. They reveal the map of cultural tensions in America.
Source: Christian Century, April 15, 2015 (page 9)