General Social Survey 2008 Cross-Section and Panel Combined

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > General Social Surveys > Analysis


GOD

Which statement comes closest to expressing what you believe about God?
  1) I don't believe in God.
  2) I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is any way to find out.
  3) I don't believe in a personal God, but do believe in a Higher Power of some kind.
  4) I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others.
  5) While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God.
  6) I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it.
  8) Don't know
  9) No answer

Category Frequency Percentage Cumulative Percentage Z-Score
I don't believe in God. 102 2.9% 2.9% -2.93
I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is any way to find out. 161 4.5% 7.4% -2.22
I don't believe in a personal God, but do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. 362 10.2% 17.6% -1.51
I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others. 149 4.2% 21.7% -.8
While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God. 600 16.9% 38.6% -.1
I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. 2160 60.7% 99.3% .61
Don't know 11 .3% 99.6% 2.03
No answer 14 .4% 100% 2.74

Variable Comparisons


Age (I-AGE)

18-29 years old 30-44 years old 45-59 years old 60-74 years old 75 years and older TOTAL
I don't believe in God. 3.6%
21
2.4%
23
2.5%
25
3.5%
23
2.6%
8
2.8%
100
I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is any way to find out. 6.9%
40
4.2%
41
3.9%
39
4.2%
28
4.3%
13
4.6%
161
I don't believe in a personal God, but do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. 11.8%
68
11.7%
114
9.8%
99
8.9%
59
6.6%
20
10.2%
360
I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others. 5.7%
33
4.1%
40
3.3%
33
4.4%
29
4.6%
14
4.2%
149
While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God. 18.6%
107
17.2%
168
16.6%
167
15.8%
105
16.7%
51
17.0%
598
I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. 53.0%
305
59.8%
582
63.3%
639
62.4%
414
63.9%
195
60.5%
2135
Don't know 0.2%
1
0.2%
2
0.4%
4
0.5%
3
0.3%
1
0.3%
11
No answer 0.2%
1
0.4%
4
0.3%
3
0.3%
2
1.0%
3
0.4%
13
TOTAL 100.0%
576
100.0%
974
100.0%
1009
100.0%
663
100.0%
305

3527


Church attendance (I-ATTEND)

Never Several times a year or less 1-3 times a month Every week or nearly every week More than once a week TOTAL
I don't believe in God. 8.9%
66
2.2%
25
0.6%
3
0.7%
6
0.3%
1
2.8%
101
I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is any way to find out. 13.1%
97
4.8%
53
1.7%
9
0.2%
2
0.0%
0
4.5%
161
I don't believe in a personal God, but do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. 21.1%
156
14.1%
157
5.2%
28
2.3%
20
0.3%
1
10.2%
362
I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others. 6.2%
46
6.4%
71
3.5%
19
1.4%
12
0.3%
1
4.2%
149
While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God. 18.1%
134
21.3%
237
19.2%
104
13.3%
114
3.4%
10
16.9%
599
I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. 31.5%
233
50.6%
564
69.9%
379
81.4%
696
95.6%
284
60.8%
2156
Don't know 0.7%
5
0.3%
3
0.0%
0
0.2%
2
0.0%
0
0.3%
10
No answer 0.3%
2
0.4%
4
0.0%
0
0.4%
3
0.0%
0
0.3%
9
TOTAL 100.0%
739
100.0%
1114
100.0%
542
100.0%
855
100.0%
297

3547


Education (I-EDUC)

Left high school High school Junior college Bachelor Graduate TOTAL
I don't believe in God. 1.7%
8
2.5%
44
2.0%
6
3.7%
24
5.5%
20
2.9%
102
I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is any way to find out. 2.5%
12
3.1%
55
2.6%
8
8.3%
54
8.9%
32
4.5%
161
I don't believe in a personal God, but do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. 5.4%
26
9.2%
162
7.3%
22
12.8%
84
18.8%
68
10.2%
362
I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others. 5.0%
24
4.2%
74
3.6%
11
4.1%
27
3.6%
13
4.2%
149
While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God. 12.9%
62
17.0%
298
15.2%
46
20.5%
134
16.6%
60
16.9%
600
I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. 71.4%
344
63.4%
1114
69.0%
209
49.8%
326
45.7%
165
60.7%
2158
Don't know 0.4%
2
0.3%
5
0.0%
0
0.5%
3
0.3%
1
0.3%
11
No answer 0.8%
4
0.3%
5
0.3%
1
0.3%
2
0.6%
2
0.4%
14
TOTAL 100.0%
482
100.0%
1757
100.0%
303
100.0%
654
100.0%
361

3557


Gender (I-GENDER)

Male Female TOTAL
I don't believe in God. 4.9%
77
1.3%
25
2.9%
102
I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is any way to find out. 7.1%
112
2.5%
49
4.5%
161
I don't believe in a personal God, but do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. 13.3%
209
7.7%
153
10.2%
362
I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others. 5.2%
81
3.4%
68
4.2%
149
While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God. 18.3%
287
15.7%
313
16.9%
600
I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. 50.2%
788
68.9%
1372
60.7%
2160
Don't know 0.3%
5
0.3%
6
0.3%
11
No answer 0.6%
10
0.2%
4
0.4%
14
TOTAL 100.0%
1569
100.0%
1990

3559


Race (I-RACE)

White Black Other TOTAL
I don't believe in God. 3.0%
84
2.0%
10
2.7%
8
2.9%
102
I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is any way to find out. 5.1%
141
1.0%
5
5.0%
15
4.5%
161
I don't believe in a personal God, but do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. 11.3%
313
4.3%
21
9.3%
28
10.2%
362
I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others. 4.5%
124
1.6%
8
5.6%
17
4.2%
149
While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God. 18.5%
513
9.8%
48
13.0%
39
16.9%
600
I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. 56.9%
1574
80.9%
397
62.8%
189
60.7%
2160
Don't know 0.4%
10
0.0%
0
0.3%
1
0.3%
11
No answer 0.3%
8
0.4%
2
1.3%
4
0.4%
14
TOTAL 100.0%
2767
100.0%
491
100.0%
301

3559


Region (I-REGION)

Northeast Midwest South West TOTAL
I don't believe in God. 3.8%
23
3.7%
29
1.7%
22
3.3%
28
2.9%
102
I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is any way to find out. 5.9%
36
4.5%
35
3.1%
41
5.8%
49
4.5%
161
I don't believe in a personal God, but do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. 12.3%
75
8.9%
70
6.8%
90
14.9%
126
10.1%
361
I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others. 5.1%
31
4.6%
36
3.0%
39
5.1%
43
4.2%
149
While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God. 19.6%
119
19.3%
152
14.1%
186
16.9%
143
16.9%
600
I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. 51.6%
314
58.9%
463
70.8%
932
53.2%
451
60.7%
2160
Don't know 0.8%
5
0.0%
0
0.2%
3
0.4%
3
0.3%
11
No answer 0.8%
5
0.1%
1
0.3%
4
0.5%
4
0.4%
14
TOTAL 100.0%
608
100.0%
786
100.0%
1317
100.0%
847

3558


Religion (I-RELIGION)

Protestant Catholic Jewish None Other (specify) TOTAL
I don't believe in God. 0.7%
12
1.0%
8
4.8%
3
12.5%
73
2.5%
6
2.9%
102
I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is any way to find out. 1.4%
26
1.8%
15
8.1%
5
18.7%
109
2.5%
6
4.5%
161
I don't believe in a personal God, but do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. 5.3%
97
7.5%
63
19.4%
12
25.8%
150
15.6%
38
10.1%
360
I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others. 3.0%
55
5.5%
46
6.5%
4
6.0%
35
3.7%
9
4.2%
149
While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God. 16.4%
299
21.2%
178
30.6%
19
10.8%
63
16.0%
39
16.9%
598
I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. 72.9%
1326
62.7%
527
29.0%
18
24.7%
144
57.2%
139
60.7%
2154
Don't know 0.1%
2
0.1%
1
0.0%
0
0.9%
5
1.2%
3
0.3%
11
No answer 0.2%
3
0.4%
3
1.6%
1
0.5%
3
1.2%
3
0.4%
13
TOTAL 100.0%
1820
100.0%
841
100.0%
62
100.0%
582
100.0%
243

3548


Political ideology (I-POLITICS)

Liberal Moderate Conservative TOTAL
I don't believe in God. 5.7%
55
2.1%
27
1.5%
17
2.9%
99
I don't know whether there is a God, and I don't believe there is any way to find out. 8.6%
83
3.1%
41
2.8%
32
4.6%
156
I don't believe in a personal God, but do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. 18.1%
174
8.4%
111
6.4%
74
10.5%
359
I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others. 5.2%
50
5.2%
69
2.4%
28
4.3%
147
While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God. 19.0%
183
17.4%
229
15.0%
173
17.1%
585
I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. 43.1%
414
62.5%
822
71.6%
823
60.1%
2059
Don't know 0.0%
0
0.4%
5
0.3%
3
0.2%
8
No answer 0.2%
2
0.8%
11
0.0%
0
0.4%
13
TOTAL 100.0%
961
100.0%
1315
100.0%
1150

3426