The percentage of Wisconsin residents who claim to have no religious belief has more than doubled in the last twenty years, while the numbers those identifying themselves as Catholics or members of other Christian denominations have declined.
The Wisconsin numbers are contained in a report from The Program on Public Values at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. The survey results released this week show the percentage of Wisconites who say they have no religion at all grew from six percent in 1990 to fifteen percent in 2008. Over the same period, the percentage of state residents identifying themselves as Roman Catholic declined from thirty nine to twenty nine percent, and other Christian denominations declined from fifty two to forty seven percent of state residents.
Similar declines in religious affiliation and increases in non-belief were noted in most other Midwestern states. Non-Catholic Christians declined nationwide, while Catholic numbers and percentages rose in many states in the South and West mainly due to immigration. The nationwide survey of 54,461 adults, from February through November of last year, has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.5 percentage points. The findings are part of a series of studies on American religion by the program that will later look more closely at reasons behind the trends.