Americans' belief in God has fallen dramatically in recent years, to the lowest level since Gallup began polling the topic 78 years ago.
The vast majority (81%) of U.S. adults believe in God, but the total was down six percentage points from 2017, Gallup reported Friday.
A total of 17% in Gallup's May 2-22 Values and Beliefs poll said they did not believe in God.
Between 1944 and 2011, more than 90% of Americans said they believed in God.
Through the 1960s, the poll consistently found that 98% said they believed in God. But in 2011, that total had fallen to 92%.
Surveys conducted between 2013-17 found belief in God dipping to 87%.
Belief in God has fallen the most in recent years among young adults, progressives, and Democrats, according to Gallup. Those groups dropped 10 or more percentage points compared to an average of the 2013-2017 polls.
Liberals (62%), young adults (68%), and Democrats (72%) were least likely to believe in God.
Conservatives and married adults essentially showed no change in the survey results, though most other key subgroups experienced at least a modest decline, Gallup said.
Political conservatives (94%) and Republicans (92%) expressed the highest levels of belief in God, Gallup found.
Gallup also asked American adults whether God hears prayers and whether God intervenes when people pray.
About half (42%) of those who believe in God said God hears prayers and can intervene on a person's behalf. Another 28% said God hears prayers but cannot intervene, while 11% think God does neither.
Nearly three-quarters of the most religious Americans — people who attend religious services every week — said they believe God hears prayers and can intervene, as do slightly more than half of conservatives and Republicans. A smaller percentage of liberals (25%) and Democrats (32%) agreed.
Gallup previously documented steep drops in church attendance, church membership, and confidence in organized religion.
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