From “20 Myths about Religion and Politics in America” by Ryan P. Burge
With reinforcement such as this, the assumption that going to college leads to disaffiliation has put down deep roots in the psyche of many conservative Christians over the last few years. But is that even a valid assumption? Are people with higher levels of education more likely to say that they have no religious affiliation than those who have completed only high school?
Using data from twelve years of the CES, I calculated the share who identified as atheist, agnostic, and nothing in particular at six education levels, ranging from those with no high school diploma to respondents with graduate degrees. The results are clear and unambiguous in every wave of the dataset. Those with the least education are the most likely to indicate that they have no religious affiliation. In fact, the negative relationship between education and religious disaffiliation is maintained in all twelve years of the survey.