Fortress Press

The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going, Second Edition

The Nones

Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going, Second Edition

Ryan P. Burge (Author)


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In The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going, Second Edition, Ryan P. Burge details a comprehensive picture of an increasingly significant group--Americans who say they have no religious affiliation.

The growth of the nones in American society has been dramatic. In 1972, just 5 percent of Americans claimed "no religion" on the General Social Survey. In 2018, that number rose to 23.7 percent, making the nones as numerous as both evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics. Every indication is that the nones will be the largest religious group in the United States in the next decade.

Burge illustrates his precise but accessible descriptions with charts and graphs drawn from more than a dozen carefully curated datasets, some tracking changes in American religion over a long period of time, others large enough to allow a statistical deep dive on subgroups such as atheists or agnostics. Burge also draws on data that tracks how individuals move in and out of religion over time, helping readers to understand what type of people become nones and what factors lead an individual to return to religion. This second edition includes substantial updates with new chapters and current statistical and demographic information. 

The Nones gives readers a nuanced, accurate, and meaningful picture of the growing number of Americans who say that they have no religious affiliation. Burge explains how this rise happened, who the nones are, and what they mean for the future of American religion.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506488240
  • eBook ISBN 9781506488257
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 200
  • Publication Date May 16, 2023


Ryan P. Burge writes with a social-scientist's mind and a pastor's heart. The Nones is compellingly written and steeped in a wealth of data analyses, demonstrating the author's deep grasp of both the social reality and the religious importance of the people who identify themselves as atheists, agnostics, and "nothing in particular." The second edition adds significant insight into the impact of Covid-19 on the phenomenon and does a great job anticipating readers' questions as it moves through the data in a clear and convincing way.

Kimberly H. Conger, professor of political science, University of Cincinnati

Not only did Burge conduct groundbreaking research into this important social phenomenon, but he translates it into relevant and thought-provoking insights. As both a political scientist and pastor, there is no one better equipped to write about the future of American faith--or lack of it.

Elle Hardy, author of Beyond Belief: How Pentecostal Christianity Is Taking Over the World

This second edition of The Nones is required reading for anyone attempting to make sense of America's religious landscape today. In this book, Ryan Burge skillfully takes his reader behind the curtain to examine complex data and social theory in an approachable, practical, and exciting way. Parsing out the nuances within broad religious identifiers, The Nones offers a road map for pastors, professors, field builders, and lay leaders to enter the public sector with confidence, compassion, and a greater awareness around who comprises our society, what they believe, and how we move forward together across lines of difference.

Amar D. Peterman, founder, Scholarship for Religion and Society