Number of teenage atheists in Canada rises swiftly

According to a new survey, teens who said they definitely believed in God, or a higher power, went from 54% to 37%, between 1984 and 2008, while the number of atheists rose from 6% to 16%. The number of teens who remained uncertain about God remained at 31%.

Sociologist Reginald Bibby said: “With teens, we see what amounts to an ongoing inter-generational shift – from tentativeness to agnosticism, and from agnosticism to atheism. The message all along has been that we have a situation where there has been a decline in attendance but people still believe something. The new part of this story that an increasing number of people [not only] don’t want anything to do with organised religion but they also are losing their belief.”

9 April 2009