Polls estimating the number of U.S.
the U.S., during
Part 5 of seven parts
A Wiccan pentacle symbol superimposed on a Maiden/Mother/Crone symbol
2014: The Pew Research Center conducted a Religious Landscape Study (RLS) which interviewed more than 35,000 American adults from all states about their religious affiliations, beliefs and practices, and social and political views. 1 A major question [Q.E1] asked was:
"What is your present religion, if any? Are you Protestant, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Orthodox such as Greek or Russian Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, something else, or nothing in particular?" 2
Presumably, some Wiccans would volunteer that they are Wiccan, a Witch, Pagan, or Neopagan at this point. Some Wiccans, who regard the god and goddess as symbolic and not as actual living deities, might answer "Agnostic" or "Atheist."
Many Wiccans would probably say "something else;" they would then be asked to specify their religion.
If a respondent named a specific non-Christian religion, then the interviewer would mark down that the respondent was not Christian. Otherwise, the respondent would be asked if they "think of themself [sic] as Christian or not."
Various Religious Landscape Studies (RLS) by Pew Research have classified on the order of 0.4% of American adults as following what Pew calls the "New Age" as their primary religious affiliation. This appears to include Druids, followers of traditional Jediism, Witchcraft, Wiccans, and other Neopagans and Pagans. 3 (Jediism is a non-theistic religious movement largely based on the Jedi in the movie series: Star Wars.
They did not show the percentage for Wiccans as a separate entry.
2015: Pew Research published an article on the topic of "other religions." It stated:
"Wicca is a Pagan or neo-Pagan religion that gained popularity in the 20th century. It is practiced mostly in the United Kingdom and the United States. Reliable estimates of the number of Wiccans around the world are not available. ..."
Meanwhile, the “other religions” population is projected to triple in size in North America, from 2.2 million (0.6% of the population) in 2010 to 6.6 million (1.5% of the population) in 2050, due largely to switching into other religions (such as Wicca and pagan religions) in the United States." 4
Pew Research does not report detailed information on Wicca and other Neopagan religions. In an article published in 2010 on their U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey they explained why:
"There are too few members of these smaller religious groups in our survey sample to analyze and report their results separately. Greek and Russian Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Wiccans, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baha'is and numerous other religious groups each comprise less than 1% of the U.S. adult population, according to the Pew Forum’s 2007 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. As a result, even in a relatively large, nationally representative survey of 3,412 people, we still had fewer than 30 Muslim respondents and fewer than 20 Hindus, for example. In keeping with sound survey research practice, we generally do not report separate results for any group that has fewer than 100 members in the sample. 5
Their major Religious Landscape surveys, conducted in 2004 and 2007 involved over 35,000 American adults. The hundred member threshold would be exceeded for religions that are followed by about 0.3% of the U.S. adult population. There is a good chance that Pew Research will include specific data on Wiccans in future surveys of this size or greater. It would involve making only minor changes to the questions that their interviewers ask, and to their sorting and computing procedures.
We expect to add to this list, over time, as new information becomes available
For our group's best estimates of the number
in the U.S. during 2001 and 2008,
see the next essay.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "America’s Changing Religious Landscape," Pew Research Center, 2015-MAY-12, at: http://www.pewforum.org/
- "Final Questionnaire," Page 7, Pew Research Center, 2014-MAY-30, at: http://www.pewforum.org/
- "Religious Landscape Study," Pew Research Center, 2016, at: http://www.pewforum.org/
- Being searched for
- Being searched for
Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Latest update: 2016-OCT-19
Author: B.A. Robinson