The number of religiously unaffiliated U.S. Latinos is increasing, while the number of Roman Catholics continues to decline, according to a Pew Research Center report published April 13.

In 2010, more than two in three (67%) of Latinos in the U.S. identified as Catholics, a number that steadily declined to 43% by 2022. Over the same period, the number of religiously unaffiliated Latinos increased from 10% (2010) to 30% (2022).

The other religious groupings featured in the survey remained stable, by comparison:

  • Evangelical Protestant: 12% (2010) to 15% (2022)
  • Non-evangelical Protestant: 5% to 6%
  • Other faiths: 3% to 4%

Latinos who are between 18 and 29 years old are most likely to be religious unaffiliated (49%), compared to those ages 30-49 (29%), ages 50-64 (18%) and 65-plus (20%). Latinos 65 and older are most likely to be Catholic (54%), compared to those ages 50-65 (53%), ages 30-49 (42%) and ages 18-29 (30%).

Most U.S. Latinos (65%) say they were raised Catholic, including a majority from all age groups: ages 18-29 (51%), ages 30-49 (62%), ages 50-64 (77%), and ages 65 and older (80%). Latinos between ages 18 and 29 are most likely to say they were raised without a religious affiliation (26%), compared to those ages 30-49 (11%), ages 50-64 (7%) and ages 65-plus (6%).

“Like Americans overall, many Latinos switch away from their childhood religion. As of 2022, one-third of Latino adults indicate that their current religion is different from their childhood religion,” the report said. “Catholicism has seen the greatest losses due to religious switching among Hispanics. … By contrast, the religiously unaffiliated have experienced the biggest gains.”

Most Latinos (66%) say religion is “very” (39%) or “somewhat” (27%) important in their lives, while around one third say it is “not too” (17%) or “not at all” (15%) important. Evangelical Latinos (95%) are most likely to say religion is very / somewhat important, followed by non-evangelical Latinos (87%), Catholic Latinos (82%) and religiously unaffiliated Latinos (25%).

The full report is available here. The topline results are available here.

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