Millennials 'talk to God' but are less interested in religion

Published 14 April 2014  |  
(AP)

While just over half of 18 to 34-year-olds would say they 'look to religion', almost two thirds would say they 'talk to God', a new study has found.

The findings are from the Integrated Innovation Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, which asked 2,000 Millennials about their attitudes towards faith and its interaction with their daily lives.

The overall results showed that 52 per cent say they "look to religion" and that 62 per cent "talk to God".

The study also broke the results down by racial group, finding that African-Americans are the most religiously engaged in both respects.

The survey found that over two thirds (67 per cent) of African-American Millennials "look to religion", while over three quarters (78 per cent) say they "talk to God".

The group who say they look to religion least are white Millennials, with only 49 per cent seeing faith as something to guide them in their daily life. This is not far behind Asians (51 per cent) and Hispanics (54 per cent).

The least conversational with God are Asian Millennials, with only 57 per cent saying they talk to God. In contrast, 60 per cent of white Millennials say they "talk to God", as do 67 per cent of Hispanics in the same age group.

The survey noted there was no correlation between the amount of education people have and how they view religion, and whether they talk to God.

There is a sharp difference between rural and urban Millennial attitudes towards faith also. While 63 per cent of rural Millennials say they "look to religion", only 31.5 per cent of urban Millennials said they do the same.

However there was a less stark divide between rural and urban Millennials when it came to talking to God. The survey said 70 per cent of rural Millennials "talk to God" compared to 60 per cent of urban Millennials.

Peter Boatwright, co-director of the Integrated Innovation Institute, told NPR: "Millennials are widely believed to have less faith in God and are less active in religion than their parents and grandparents.

"While our survey doesn't explore this comparison, we think it's telling that, overall, the majority of this generation does express a fairly strong sense of faith."

A study from February by Pew Research showed that only 36 per cent of Millennials consider themselves "religious" compared to 52 per cent of those aged 34 to 49, 55 per cent of 50 to 68-year-olds, and 61 per cent of those aged 69 to 86.

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