Statistics taken from the new American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS)

Percentage of people who call themselves some type of Christian has dropped more than 11 percent in a generation.
almost all religious denominations have lost ground since the first ARIS survey in 1990.

So many Americans claim no religion at all (15 percent, up from 8 percent in 1990), that this category now outranks every other major U.S. religious group except Catholics and Baptists.

Baptists, 15.8 percent of those surveyed, are down from 19.3 percent in 1990. Mainline Protestant denominations, once socially dominant, have seen sharp declines: The percentage of Methodists, for example, dropped from 8 percent to 5 percent.

The percentage of those who choose a generic label, calling themselves simply Christian, Protestant, non-denominational, evangelical or ""born again," was 14.2 percent, about the same as in 1990.

Jewish numbers showed a steady decline, from 1.8 percent in 1990 to 1.2 percent today. The percentage of Muslims, while still slim, has doubled, from 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent. Analysts within both groups suggest those numbers understate the groups' populations.

some Jewish surveys that report larger numbers of Jews also include ""cultural" Jews - those who connect to Judiasm through its traditions, but not necessarily through actively practicing the religion.

nearly 2.8 million people now identify with dozens of new religious movements, calling themselves Wiccan, pagan or ""Spiritualist," which the survey does not define.

The initial ARIS report in 1990 was based on 113,000 interviews, updated with 50,000 more in 2001 and now 54,000 in 2008. Because the U.S. Census does not ask about religion, the ARIS survey was the first comprehensive study of how people identify their spiritual expression.

Oregon once led the nation in Nones (18 percent in 1990), but in 2008 the leader, with 34 percent, was Vermont, where Nones significantly outnumber every other group.

in Boston and a Massachusetts there is a sharp fall in the state's percentage of Catholics - from 54 percent to 39 percent in his lifetime.

In South Carolina there are more Catholics (10 percent, up from 6 percent in 1990) and the percentage of Nones has more than tripled, from 3 percent to 10 percent. The share of Protestants is 73 percent, down from 88 percent in 1990.

'Nones' now 15 percent of population

A closer look at the ""Nones" - people who said ""None" when asked their religious identity

-- shows that this group (now 15 percent of Americans, up from 8 percent in 1990) opts out of traditional religious rites of passage:

-- 40 percent say they had no childhood religious initiation ceremony such as a baptism, christening, circumcision, bar mitzvah or naming ceremony.

-- 55 percent of those who are married had no religious ceremony.

-- 66 percent say they do not expect to have a religious funeral.

This link has some terrific graphs:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-03-09-american-religion-ARIS_N.htm

This information reposted from the notes section of Margaret Downey's facebook, where she is currently most active.