Public opinion analyst: Young people leading US religious decline

Public opinion analyst Karlyn Bowman told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on Monday that young people are leading the trend in the declining religious affiliation among Americans. 

"It's certainly being led by young people," Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said on "What America's Thinking."

"Young people are often the first to embrace changes in society, particularly young people in college. We look at them pretty closely to see these trends emerge," she continued. 

"I think less religious training by parents, that's probably something that's contributing to it. And just in general, perhaps maybe not turning away from religion, but rather less religious affiliation because most of these young people still say they believe in God." 

Bowman was referring to a recent Gallup poll that found that church attendance among Americans at 50 percent, down from 70 percent in 1999. 

The same survey found that 42 percent of millennials are members of churches, on average, in the U.S. 

— Julia Manchester