‘Nones’ on the Rise Among Hispanics
Most U.S. Hispanics identify themselves as Catholic (53 percent); 25 percent identify as Protestant; and few Hispanics (6 percent) identify with a non-Christian religion. But perhaps the fastest growing “religious” demographic among Hispanics, according to a new report from the Public Religion Research Institute, is the religiously unaffiliated—or the “nones” (for “none of the above”), as they are known in other surveys. While the media and academic literature have noted the declining proportion of U.S. Hispanic Catholics, the narrative has often emphasized Catholics converting to evangelical or charismatic forms of Protestantism. The institute’s Hispanic Values Survey of 2013 reveals that this is only half the story. When comparing the religious affiliation of Hispanic adults today with their religious affiliation as children, Catholic affiliation drops by 16 percentage points, but the ranks of both evangelical Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated have grown at roughly equal rates. Evangelical Protestant affiliation has increased by 6 percentage points (from 7 percent to 13 percent), while the percentage of those claiming no religious affiliation has increased by 7 percentage points—from 5 percent to 12 percent.