- Author: Insight Tr3s
Hispanics and religion
More than 7 in 10 Hispanics 18 to 34 are Christian - and most are Catholic. To be exact, 72 percent of Hispanics age 18 to 34 are Christian, and 51 percent are Catholic. Other Christian religions represent smaller segments of the Hispanic population: 9 percent are “Christian,” 4 percent are “other evangelical Christian,” 4 percent are Pentecostal/Charismatic, and 3 percent are Baptist.
Just over half of Catholic adults 18 to 34 in the U.S. are Hispanic. Among total U.S. Catholic adults, more than 1 in 3 are Hispanic.
Hispanics 18 to 34 are four times more likely than non-Hispanics to be Catholic. 51 percent of Hispanics age 18 to 34 are Catholic, compared with 13 percent of non-Hispanics.
Young Hispanic adults are less likely than older Hispanics to be Catholic - and as likely to be Protestant. Though the percentages of young Hispanic adults are still large, they are smaller for the 18 to 29 group. 47 percent of Hispanics 18 to 29 are Catholic, compared with 56 percent of Hispanics 30 to 49 and 60-61 percent of those over 50. Meanwhile, 29 percent of Hispanics 18 to 29 are Protestant - compared with 27 percent of Hispanics over 30. While the Catholic Church is losing young adults, other Christian religions are not.
Over the last five years, Hispanics overall have become less likely to identify as Catholic - but are as likely to be Protestant. 54 percent of Hispanics said they were Catholic in 2012, down from 58 percent in 2008. However, 28 percent said they were Protestant, comparable to the 27 percent reported in 2008.
Catholicism is in rapid decline among non-Hispanics 18 to 34. From 2008 to 2012, the percentage of non-Hispanics 18 to 34 who consider themselves Catholic fell from 18 percent to 13 percent -- a decrease of nearly 30 percent. Hispanic Catholics 18 to 34 fell at a slower pace (61 percent in 2008 to 51 percent in 2012, a 16 percent decrease). Because non-Hispanic Catholics are declining faster, Hispanics will represent a larger share of young Catholics in the U.S. in the years to come.
Though smaller in number, Hispanic Protestants are more likely than Hispanic Catholics to identify as “very religious.” 60 percent of Hispanic Protestants said they were very religious, compared with 43 percent of Hispanic Catholics. Hispanic Catholics were more likely to consider themselves to be moderately religious (39 percent, vs. 29 percent of Hispanic Protestants). This trend held across age groups, though Hispanics over 30 were more likely than the 18-29 group to classify themselves as “very religious.”
When it comes to marriage, religious compatibility is very important to young Hispanics. They consider religion to be the third most important thing, following trust and love.
Source: Originally published in Insight Tr3s as Hispanics and Religion, using various reports: Experian Simmons, Fall 2012 and Fall 2008 NHCS Adult Study 12-month; Tr3s 2012 “Hispanic 18-34s Living The 'Next Normal'”; Gallup, “U.S. Catholic Hispanic Population Less Religious, Shrinking,” March 27, 2013.