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The Pew Charitable Trusts
Interfaith Leadership & Religious Literacy
Date Approved

The third Religious Landscape Study will make a major contribution to the religious literacy of the U.S. public by providing the best available estimates of the size and characteristics of U.S. religious groups, documenting the diversity and dynamism of religion in America. Because the Census does not ask about religion, the RLS is the most authoritative source for journalists, religious leaders, scholars, educators, and other decision makers seeking to understand how the religious landscape is changing. The centerpiece of the study is a high-quality survey of 35,000 adults across all 50 states. In addition, at least three smaller surveys will be conducted on the Center’s American Trends Panel to delve into specific topics, such as religion and climate change, spiritual behaviors, and religious activity online. The Center, a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, will publish at least five major reports on findings using advanced statistical methods written for non-specialists. The Center will make the datasets available to scholars, and it will build an interactive database for visitors to find information. The second RLS, in 2014, generated more than 9,000 media clips and 4 million online visits within 5 years. The third RLS is expected to have equal or greater impact.