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Freshmen Less Religious

“The American Freshman National Norms,” Fall 2014., reported over 150,000 students’ affiliation with religion was at the lowest point in the 49 years of annual surveys led by UCLA. More than one-quarter (30% of men and 25% of women) didn’t have a religious preference, an increase of over 12% since 1971. Their self-rating of their spirituality as above average dropped from 44% in 1996 to 35% in 2014. They also had a drop in use of alcohol and tobacco and partying in their senior year of high school, and were likely to plan on earning an advanced degree. However, the freshmen reported more frequent emotional health problems such as depression (9.5% felt frequently depressed) and anxiety.

Kevin Eagan, et al., “The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2014,” Higher Education Research Institute, 2014.