Opinion of atheists
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Opinion of atheists (Demographic Patterns)

Thinking about specific religious groups, what is your overall opinion of: atheists, that is, people who don't believe in God? (Religion and Public Life Survey, 2002)


Opinion of atheists by Age (Religion and Public Life Survey, 2002)

  18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65 + Missing TOTAL
Very favorable 7.4%
10
9.7%
15
2.9%
6
4.3%
9
3.4%
5
2.1%
4
0 4.7%
49
Mostly favorable 36.8%
50
27.1%
42
38.2%
79
32.4%
68
25.3%
37
17.1%
32
6 29.6%
308
Mostly unfavorable 25.7%
35
25.2%
39
18.8%
39
25.2%
53
22.6%
33
22.5%
42
3 23.2%
241
Very unfavorable 23.5%
32
24.5%
38
29.0%
60
24.3%
51
36.3%
53
45.5%
85
6 30.6%
319
Never heard of 0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.5%
1
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0 0.1%
1
Can't rate 5.9%
8
12.9%
20
9.2%
19
11.4%
24
10.3%
15
10.2%
19
1 10.1%
105
Refused 0.7%
1
0.6%
1
1.9%
4
1.9%
4
2.1%
3
2.7%
5
1 1.7%
18
Missing 103 163 202 169 122 174 11 944
TOTAL 100%
136
100%
155
100%
207
100%
210
100%
146
100%
187
28 1041

Opinion of atheists by Gender (Religion and Public Life Survey, 2002)

  Male Female TOTAL
Very favorable 4.8%
24
4.5%
25
4.6%
49
Mostly favorable 33.4%
166
26.4%
148
29.7%
314
Mostly unfavorable 24.9%
124
21.4%
120
23.1%
244
Very unfavorable 25.2%
125
35.7%
200
30.7%
325
Never heard of 0.2%
1
0.0%
0
0.1%
1
Can't rate 9.3%
46
10.7%
60
10%
106
Refused 2.2%
11
1.4%
8
1.8%
19
Missing 425 519 944
TOTAL 100%
497
100%
561
1058

Opinion of atheists by Political party (Religion and Public Life Survey, 2002)

  Republican Democrat Independent No preference Missing TOTAL
Very favorable 2.5%
9
4.1%
13
7.8%
23
5.3%
3
1 4.7%
48
Mostly favorable 24.4%
88
30.3%
95
37.3%
110
19.3%
11
10 29.6%
304
Mostly unfavorable 26.4%
95
23.9%
75
20.0%
59
15.8%
9
6 23.2%
238
Very unfavorable 34.7%
125
33.8%
106
22.4%
66
38.6%
22
6 31.1%
319
Never heard of 0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.3%
1
0.0%
0
0 0.1%
1
Can't rate 10.3%
37
6.4%
20
11.5%
34
19.3%
11
4 9.9%
102
Refused 1.7%
6
1.6%
5
0.7%
2
1.8%
1
5 1.4%
14
Missing 293 280 281 64 26 944
TOTAL 100%
360
100%
314
100%
295
100%
57
58 1026

Opinion of atheists by Household income (Religion and Public Life Survey, 2002)

  Less than $20,000 $20,000 to under $40,000 $40,000 to under $75,000 $75,000 to under $100,000 $100,000 or more Don't know/Refused TOTAL
Very favorable 2.8%
4
4.2%
11
8.0%
22
2.9%
3
4.5%
5
2.5%
4
4.6%
49
Mostly favorable 24.8%
36
25.7%
68
31.3%
86
40.4%
42
40.9%
45
23.3%
37
29.7%
314
Mostly unfavorable 20.0%
29
24.9%
66
18.5%
51
24.0%
25
31.8%
35
23.9%
38
23.1%
244
Very unfavorable 42.8%
62
34.0%
90
31.6%
87
24.0%
25
10.0%
11
31.4%
50
30.7%
325
Never heard of 0.0%
0
0.4%
1
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.1%
1
Can't rate 9.0%
13
9.8%
26
9.1%
25
7.7%
8
11.8%
13
13.2%
21
10%
106
Refused 0.7%
1
1.1%
3
1.5%
4
1.0%
1
0.9%
1
5.7%
9
1.8%
19
Missing 167 207 246 96 85 143 944
TOTAL 100%
145
100%
265
100%
275
100%
104
100%
110
100%
159
1058

Opinion of atheists by Education (Religion and Public Life Survey, 2002)

  Less than high school High school graduate Some college College + Missing TOTAL
Very favorable 3.3%
3
3.5%
12
4.4%
13
6.5%
21
0 4.6%
49
Mostly favorable 18.9%
17
20.3%
70
34.1%
101
38.9%
126
0 29.8%
314
Mostly unfavorable 17.8%
16
25.9%
89
21.6%
64
22.5%
73
2 23%
242
Very unfavorable 47.8%
43
40.7%
140
30.1%
89
15.7%
51
2 30.6%
323
Never heard of 1.1%
1
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0 0.1%
1
Can't rate 8.9%
8
8.1%
28
7.8%
23
14.5%
47
0 10.1%
106
Refused 2.2%
2
1.5%
5
2.0%
6
1.9%
6
0 1.8%
19
Missing 93 302 229 316 4 944
TOTAL 100%
90
100%
344
100%
296
100%
324
8 1054

Opinion of atheists by Marital status (Religion and Public Life Survey, 2002)

  Married Divorced/Separated Widowed Never been married Missing TOTAL
Very favorable 4.7%
26
3.3%
6
2.3%
2
6.6%
15
0 4.7%
49
Mostly favorable 28.5%
159
26.9%
49
15.1%
13
40.1%
91
2 29.7%
312
Mostly unfavorable 22.3%
124
27.5%
50
20.9%
18
22.5%
51
1 23.1%
243
Very unfavorable 32.3%
180
28.0%
51
48.8%
42
22.0%
50
2 30.7%
323
Never heard of 0.2%
1
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0 0.1%
1
Can't rate 9.9%
55
13.2%
24
11.6%
10
7.0%
16
1 10%
105
Refused 2.2%
12
1.1%
2
1.2%
1
1.8%
4
0 1.8%
19
Missing 495 144 92 207 6 944
TOTAL 100%
557
100%
182
100%
86
100%
227
12 1052

Opinion of atheists by Worship attendance (Religion and Public Life Survey, 2002)

  More than once a week Once a week Once or twice a month A few times a year Seldom Never Missing TOTAL
Very favorable 2.2%
4
2.6%
7
3.0%
5
6.6%
12
7.7%
12
9.9%
9
0 4.7%
49
Mostly favorable 13.4%
25
22.3%
61
34.5%
57
36.5%
66
45.2%
70
38.5%
35
0 29.8%
314
Mostly unfavorable 22.6%
42
29.9%
82
24.8%
41
21.5%
39
17.4%
27
14.3%
13
0 23.2%
244
Very unfavorable 51.6%
96
36.9%
101
28.5%
47
22.1%
40
16.8%
26
14.3%
13
2 30.7%
323
Never heard of 0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
1.1%
1
0 0.1%
1
Can't rate 8.1%
15
7.7%
21
8.5%
14
13.3%
24
11.6%
18
15.4%
14
0 10.1%
106
Refused 2.2%
4
0.7%
2
0.6%
1
0.0%
0
1.3%
2
6.6%
6
4 1.4%
15
Missing 125 258 157 177 138 80 9 944
TOTAL 100%
186
100%
274
100%
165
100%
181
100%
155
100%
91
15 1052

Notes

This project investigated the public's attitudes on religion and public life. The survey was commissioned by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (www.people-press.org) and produced two reports. The first report addressed America's struggle with religion in the post 9-11 climate. The second report examined the public's attitudes about genetic research.




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