In the five counties that saw the biggest move toward religion, the median age is really low! Note, that four of them are in Arizona, Texas and California, by the way. Immigration is a big part of the story, obviously. But among these 20 counties, 12 of them have a median age that is lower than the national average.
This is just another little bit of evidence that older counties don’t really mean more religious counties. There’s a ton of dynamic religious growth in very youthful pockets of the United States. Now, this growth may look like a lot of Hispanic Catholics or Muslims or Latter-day Saints, but that’s how the American religious landscape is shifting.
There’s always this tension when I write about religious growth or decline. I think most people still think of religion in terms of Christianity (typically White Christianity). There are still a ton of White Christians in America, and they will still be the plurality of the country for decades to come. But the United States is becoming more racially and religiously diverse as each year passes.
Sometimes I will give a talk and say religion is growing in the United States. Lots of nods of approval from the audience. Then I will describe just what I laid out here: growth of Hispanic Catholics, Muslims, and so on, and their faces turn a little bit. They want religion to grow in the United States, but only their kind of faith.