Data bite: Gallup's take on the influence of religion

February 10, 2004

A Gallup Poll says the number of Americans who think religion is increasing its influence on public life has dropped to its lowest percentage since 1995. The survey in November found that barely one-third of Americans—32 percent—see religion increasing its influence, down from 46 percent in February. Another Gallup survey last May found that 61 percent believe religion can “answer all or most of today’s problems,” even though in the same poll two-thirds (67 percent) said the state of “moral values” is “getting worse.” “Their sense of moral stagnation is tempered by the idea that the potential for improvement exists, and that religion can help,” said Albert Winseman, religion and values editor of Gallup’s “Tuesday Briefing” report.