Analysis of religious affiliation trends among American college first-year students has found that the number of those who do not belong to a religion, or the “nones,” has skyrocketed in the past three decades.  Allen Downey, professor of Computer Science at Olin College in Needham, Massachusetts, wrote in an article for Scientific American on Thursday that he analyzed numbers from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program’s 2016 Freshman survey, which revealed

the dramatic rise in “nones.” The survey, based on data from 137,000 first-time students at 184 colleges and universities in the U.S., showed that college students with no religious affiliation were only at 10 percent in 1986, but have now tripled, rising up to 31 percent in 2016.  Meanwhile, students attending religious services dropped from 85 percent to 69 percent in the same time period. READ MORE