Religion Remains Important to a Majority of Consumers

A significant majority of U.S. consumers, 57%, remain strongly religious and believe their religion can address many of the problems they face as individuals and that we face as a nation. However, about 30%  of surveyed consumers believe that religion is an old-​fashioned concept. While the number of believers continues to drop, the rate of decline has slowed. For now, organizations that sell goods and services related to religion will still find a ready market in the U.S. according to the latest Gallup poll on this topic.

Over the past 40 years, Gallup has asked consumers about their religious beliefs. During this time, the number of people who are strongly religious has dropped from 82% to 57% of the population. The Gallup  data shows that women, residents of the South and older consumers are most likely to be religious. For example, 48% of 18–29 year olds say religion can solve today’s problems while 62% of adults over age 62 say the same.   About  84% of consumers who attend church on a weekly basis believe in the power of religion as do 64% of those who claim to have a religious identity.

Political conservatism is also linked to religious values. 72% of conservatives believe religion holds the key to solving today’s problems.   Not surprisingly, political liberals are also most likely to say “religion is out of date” with 49 % of this group holding this view.

While there has been a broad shift in the beliefs of U.S. consumers, Gallup analysts say “the secularization of U.S. society may have slowed, if not halted, for the foreseeable future.” This is a positive development for religious institutions and retailers who sell goods and services that target religious consumers.

Consumers who support religious ministries over-​index for reading religious/​devotional books, according to Ad-​ology Research findings.  About 1/​3 of these consumers are over age 55 and are also more likely than average to  hire accounting or tax services and financial planners.  In the last 12 months, 3/​4 of this audience has taken action as a result of a TV ad, suggesting that this media format may be an effective way for religious institutions to influence these consumers.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-​ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.