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Chapter 4. Activities Outside of School and Work

Indicator 37. Religion

In 2009, approximately 28 percent of high school seniors reported that religion was very important in their life, 27 percent reported that religion was pretty important, 25 percent reported that religion was a little important, and 20 percent reported that religion was not important. A smaller percentage of high school seniors reported that religion was very important in their life in 2009 than in 1980 (28 vs. 32 percent) but there was no measurable linear trend over this time period. In contrast, the percentage of students who reported that religion was not important in their life increased between 1980 and 2009 (from 10 to 20 percent).

Some differences in the level of importance of religion were found by sex. In 2009, a lower percentage of male high school seniors (26 percent) than female high school seniors (31 percent) reported that religion was very important in their life. Also, a higher percentage of males (24 percent) than females (16 percent) reported that religion was not important to them. Between 1980 and 2009, the percentage of males who reported that religion was not important increased from 13 to 24 percent, while the respective percentage of females increased from 7 to 16 percent.

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