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Church attendance has been declining for a number of years - it's not worth measuring atheism in empty pews.

In US surveys on religious beliefs, respondents increasingly answer with 'no religion', and these 'nones' consitute the largest demographics in these surveys.

In a report theatrically titled Exodus, the Public Religion Research Institute(PRRI) explored the reasons people become atheists, and the diversity of the 'nones' coalition.

'Nones' or 'unaffiliates' are harder to categorise because rather than subscribing to a particular sect, they're defined by the absence of a sect.

Surveys which focus on the percentage of people identifying as 'no religion' usually fail to recognise the diversity within that label - respondents could have abandoned religion or they simply may be theistic but not attend church.

The PRRI records that 25 per cent of Americans claim no formal religion, up from just six per cent in the 1970s and from 20 per cent as recent as 2012.

Although more children are being raised without any religion, the number of 'nones' who were once religious remains high.

Here are six reasons cited by the report as to why they left:

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