Poll: 21 percent say religion "not that important" in their lives

One in five Americans say religion does not play an important role in their lives, a new NBC/WSJ journal poll shows – the highest percentage since the poll began asking participants about their focus on faith in 1997.

Twenty one percent of respondents said that religion is “not that important” to their lives, compared to 16 percent who said the same in 1999. In 1997, 14 percent of Americans said religion did not play an important role in their lives.

The poll showed that these less religious Americans are more likely to be men, have an income over $75,000, to live in the Northeast or West and to be under the age of 35.