Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





US researcher says baby boomers remain churchgoers

A researcher base in Georgia in the US says that the baby boomer generation is continuing to attend churches, although "boomers" who previous left have apparently now quit for good.

Religion News Service quotes an article in a newsletter from the Visions-Decisions church demography consultancy that is says may be good news for churches because the departure of Boomers would have had a deep impact on membership and finances.

The newsletter says that older Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1955 have nearly completed child-raising and their households are emptying of children.

Previous generations of Americans had slumped in religious attendance after their children had left. But older Boomers are still attending at about the same rate as they always have. Having made a choice, they are sticking to that choice.

The conclusions follow a preliminary analysis of data from the General Social Survey at the University of Chicago.

But the bad news for churches is that some older Boomers have cut their ties with religious bodies.

"Many of these Boomers identified themselves with particular denominations but never really participated in those bodies. Though they have not given up on religious beliefs, they now no longer claim any affiliation."

It says the decision may be motivated by displeasure in the conservative religious turn of the nation, as two University of California sociologists recently have indicated, or because those Boomers are finding that religious communities are "too strict and rule-bound for their taste".

Once again, boomers take the road less travelled (Religion News Service 20/7/04)

Anthony E. Healy: Sticking with it (

12 Aug 2004