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Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S.

A 2007 Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life survey revealed that 28 percent of Americans had changed their religious affiliation from the tradition in which they were raised (for example, from Protestantism to Catholicism) at least once. When change within religious traditions is added in (for example, from Jewish Orthodox to Conservative), the percent rises to about 44. In 2008, the Pew Forum conducted a follow-up, focusing on why people change their religious affiliation. The reasons vary widely and are explored in a report, "Faith in Flux", located on the Pew Forum’s website. The data set for the original 2007 study is archived on the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) website in two files: the Continental dataset,  and the Alaska and Hawaii dataset. The data set for the follow-up 2008 study is also archived on ARDA.



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