Asian American millennials – belief in God, reliance on religion, studies

Barely half of millennials say they look to religion for guidance, but a higher percentage “talk to God,” suggesting that the 18-to-34 demographic is more spiritual than sectarian, according to a new survey by the Integrated Innovation Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

The survey of 2,000 U.S. men and women, ages 18-34, found that 62 percent said they talk to God, while 52 per cent said they look to religion for guidance.

Asian-Americans (57 per cent) were least likely to talk to God, and second least likely to look to religion for guidance in their daily life (51 per cent), following closely behind white millennials (49 per cent).

African-Americans were most likely to say they talk to God (78 percent) and look to religion (67 percent).

The Pew Forum’s July 2012 article Asian Americans: A Mosaic of Faiths reported that the Asian Americans population increased to 5.8 per cent (or 18.2 million children and adults in 2011, according to the U.S. Census) from 1 per cent of the total U.S. population in 1965.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines “Asian” as “a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent,” Pew Forum explains in a footnote. It includes people who indicated their race(s) as “Asian Indian,” “Chinese,” “Filipino,” “Japanese,” “Korean,” “Vietnamese” or “Other Asian,” or wrote in entries such as “Pakistani,” “Thai,” “Cambodian” or “Hmong.”

With growing diversity in the nation’s population, the Census Bureau has changed the wording of questions about race and ethnicity over time. Since Census 2000, respondents could select one or more race categories to indicate their racial identities. About 15 per cent of the Asian population reported multiple races in Census 2010.

In addition, since Census 2000, the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population, formerly included with the totals for the Asian population, has been counted as a separate race group. Because of the changes, the report warns about historical comparisons on the racial composition of Asians.

For details of the profile of religious affiliations of Asian-Americans, click Asian Americans: A Mosaic of Faiths