American Teens No Longer More Likely than Adults to Believe In God, Miracles, Heaven, Jesus, Angels, or the Devil

However, teens are still more likely than adults to believe in Hell

02:00 PM EDT Nov 1, 2016 Rating
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American Teens No Longer More Likely than Adults to Believe In God, Miracles, Heaven, Jesus, Angels, or the Devil

NEW YORK, N.Y. – November 1, 2016 – Though Americans are currently attempting to recover from their Halloween sugar comas, with our presidential election looming, religious beliefs are rising to the tops of many conversations and minds. Over the past few years, The Harris Poll has found that the gap between the proportion of U.S. adults (18+) and teens (13-17) that believe in God is closing. Where in 2014, 8 in 10 teens (80%) believed in God while only 74% of adults felt the same in 2013, now in 2016, just over three quarters of each share this belief (77% teens, 76% adults).

It is worth noting, however, that while over half of all Americans aged 13 and older say they are absolutely certain there is a God, teens are more likely than adults to feel this way (58% teens vs. 53% adults).

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,463 U.S. adults aged 18+ and 510 teens aged 13-17 surveyed online between July 14 and 27, 2016.

The after party

Whether or not a person believes in God, everyone must still find their own way to contend with the matter of death. Just under three quarters of Americans (74% teens, 73% adults) believe in Heaven, followed by seven in ten who believe in angels (71%, 70% respectively).

When it comes to the devil’s domain, 65% of teens believe in Hell, a six-percentage point jump on the 59% of adults who feel the same. In addition, just under six in ten Americans believe in the Devil (59% teens, 58% adults).

And when it comes to what’s deep inside, over six in ten Americans (61% teens, 64% adults) believe the soul survives after death, while 19% of teens and about a quarter of adults (26%) believe in reincarnation.

 

WHAT AMERICANS BELIEVE IN

Please indicate for each one if you believe in it, or not. 

Base: Teens 13-17 and Adults 18+

 

% Believe In

 

Total teens 13-17 (2016)

Total adults 18+ (2016)

Total teens 13-18 (2014)

Total adults 18+ (2013)

 

n = 510

n = 2463

n = 712

n = 2250

God

77

76

80

74

Miracles

75

73

76

72

Heaven

74

73

78

68

Jesus is God or the Son of God

72

71

74

68

Angels

71

70

74

68

The resurrection of Jesus Christ

70

68

70

65

Hell

65

59

64

58

Survival of the soul after death

61

64

62

64

The Virgin birth (Jesus born of Mary)

61

57

59

57

The Devil

59

58

65

58

Ghosts

44

41

46

42

Darwin’s theory of evolution

40

49

43

47

Creationism

33

37

38

36

Astrology

30

33

36

29

UFOs

29

35

31

36

Witches

25

28

23

26

Reincarnation – that you were once another person

19

26

21

24

 

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between July 14 and 27, 2016 among 2,463 adults aged 18+ and 510 teens aged 13-17. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.  Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #60, November 1, 2016

By Hannah Pollack, Research Analyst, The Harris Poll

 

About The Harris Poll®

Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. 

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