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A person who does not report a religious affiliation or does not belong to a religious organization.  Although often conflated with atheism or agnosticism, affiliation and belief represent different forms of irreligion.  It has also been noted that many who fall into this category do so “liminally,” oscillating between nominal religious affiliation and absence of affiliation (Lim, MacGregor, and Putnam 2010).


Baker, Joseph O. and Buster G. Smith.  2009.  “The Nones: Social Characteristics of the Religiously Unaffiliated.”  Social Forces 87(3):1251-1264.

Baker, Joseph O. and Buster G. Smith.  2009.  “None Too Simple: Examining Issues of Religious Nonbelief and Nonbelonging in the United States.”  Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 48(4):719-733.

Davie, Grace.  1994.  Religion in Britain Since 1945: Believing but Not Belonging.  Oxford: Blackwell.

Hout, Michael, and Claude S. Fischer. 2002. “Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Politics and Generations.” American Sociological Review 67:165-190.

Kosmin, Barry and Ariela Keysar.  2009.  “American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population: A Report Based on the American Religious Identification Survey, 2008.”  Hartford, CT: Trinity College.

Lim, Chaeyoon, Carol A. MacGregor and Robert D. Putnam.  2010.  “Secular and Liminal: Discovering Heterogeneity among Religious Nones.”  Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 49(4):596-618.

The following are possible measures of Unchurched that can be created using data from theARDA.com
In 2000, Steensland and colleagues proposed a new method for classifying religious tradition which was based on both doctrine and historical changes in religious groups.  The schematic divides religious traditions into black Protestant, Catholic, evangelical Protestant, Jewish, mainline Protestant, no religion, and "other" religion.  The "other" category functions as a catch-all to reduce missing cases in multivariate analyses with listwise deletion, but should not be substantively interpreted, as it contains a mixture of Eastern religious traditions, Mormons, and everything in between.  The classification scheme is created by using variables such as affiliation and denomination to classify respondents. View related items in the Measurement Wizard:
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