NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new Harris Poll finds that the great majority (82%) of American adults believe in God, exactly the same number as in two earlier Harris Polls in 2005 and 2007. Large majorities also believe in miracles (76%), heaven (75%), that Jesus is God or the Son of God (73%), in angels (72%), the survival of the soul after death (71%), and in the resurrection of Jesus (70%).
Less than half (45%) of adults believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution but this is more than the 40% who believe in creationism.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,303 adults surveyed online between November 2 and 11, 2009 by Harris Interactive®.
The survey also finds that:
None of these numbers have changed much since previous surveys in 2005 and 2007.
There are very big differences between the beliefs of Catholics, Protestants, born-again Christians and Jews.
Catholics are more likely than all adults to believe in: God (94% compared to 82%); heaven (86% vs. 75%); that Jesus is God or the Son of God (90% vs. 73%); angels (83% vs. 72%); the survival of the soul after death (82% vs. 71%); the resurrection of Jesus Christ (87% vs. 70%); hell (70% vs. 61%); and the virgin birth (by 74% vs. 61%).
Catholics are also somewhat more likely than all adults to believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution (51% vs. 45%).
Protestants are also more likely to believe in God (92%), %); that Jesus is God or the Son of God (91%); heaven (90%); angels (88%); the resurrection of Jesus (88%); miracles (87%); the survival of the soul (85%); the virgin birth (79%); the devil (77%) and hell (73%).
But Protestants are much less likely than all adults to believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution (32%), ghosts (33%); astrology (20%); and reincarnation (13%). They are more likely than all adults to believe in creationism (56% vs. 40%).
Born-again Christians are much more likely than Catholics or all Protestants to believe in God (97%); heaven (97%); the Resurrection (97%); miracles (95%); angels (95%); the virgin birth (92%); the survival of the soul (91%); hell (89%); and the devil (89%).
Born-again Christians are also much more likely to believe in creationism (68%), and much less likely to believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution (16%).
Jews are, of course, very unlikely to believe in the basic elements of Christianity. They are also less likely than all adults to believe in miracles (63%); heaven (48%); the survival of the soul (37%); angels (36%); hell (21%); and the devil (7%).
Jews are by far the most likely to believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution (80%) and the least likely to believe in creationism (20%). They are also less likely than all adults to believe in ghosts (10% vs. 42%), UFOs (20% vs. 32%), astrology (19% vs. 26%); and witches (8% vs. 23%).
Two “big picture” findings are worth noting:
Base: All Adults
|Jesus is God or the Son of God||%||73||16||11||70||72||+3|
|Survival of the soul after death||%||71||10||19||70||69||+1|
|The resurrection of Jesus Christ||%||70||17||13||66||70||+4|
|The Virgin birth (Jesus born of Mary)||%||61||22||17||58||60||+3|
|Darwin’s theory of evolution||%||45||32||22||N/A||42||N/A|
|Reincarnation – that you were once another person||%||20||53||28||21||21||-1|
Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% because of rounding Note: N/A indicates this was not asked in 2005
WHAT PEOPLE BELIEVE IN – BY RELIGION
“Please indicate for each one if you believe in it, or not”
Base: All Adults
|Jesus is God or the Son of God||73||90||91||6||97|
|Survival of the soul after death||71||82||85||37||91|
|The resurrection of Jesus Christ||70||87||88||5||97|
|The Virgin birth (Jesus born of Mary)||61||74||79||5||92|
|Darwin’s theory of evolution||45||51||32||80||16|
|Reincarnation – that you were once another person||20||19||13||18||14|
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States November 2 and 11, 2009 among 2,303 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
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