A slim majority (55%) of U.S. adults expressed confidence in religious leaders in 2021, according to a Pew Research Center report published Feb. 15.

This was the third survey in a row where confidence declined, falling from 63% of respondents expressing “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of confidence in religious leaders in early 2020 to 59% in late 2020 to 55% in late 2021.

Of the 55% of respondents expressing confidence in religious leaders in 2021, 12% expressed “a great deal of confidence,” 43% “a fair amount of confidence,” 30% “not too much confidence” and 15% “no confidence at all.”

The “great deal” and “fair amount” confidence levels in 2021 were the second lowest since 2016, while the “not too much” responses were the third highest and “no confidence” was the second highest.

Of the nine occupations surveyed, religious leaders ranked sixth, ahead of elected officials (24% confidence), business leaders (40%) and journalists (40%), and behind public school principals (64%), police officers (69%), the military (74%), scientists (77%) and medical scientists (78%).

The full report is available here. The top-line results, noting an overall margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points, are available here.

Share This