SALT LAKE CITY — When it comes to keeping the earth populated, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are making more babies than members of any other faith.
That’s according to new data out of the Pew Research Center, which revealed the average Mormon will have 3.4 children in his or her lifetime. Protestants, Catholics and Jews fell in the middle of the pack, each averaging around 2 children.
Atheists and Agnostics took the bottom slots — averaging just 1.6 and 1.3 babies, respectively, according to the study.
Utah — the home base of the LDS Church — led the nation in births in 2013 with 17.6 births per 1,000 people, according to a CDC report. A higher percentage of Utahns are married than in any other state in the nation, according to the state’s website.
The fertility findings were based on a survey of 35,000 American adults, focused on analyzing the state of religion in the U.S.
Interestingly enough, while members of Christian faiths have higher fertility rates, their adult ranks appear to be dropping. The Christian share of the population dropped from 227 million — or 78 percent — in 2007 to just 70 percent in 2014, the study revealed.
Meanwhile, the number of U.S. adults who declare themselves religiously unaffiliated is on the rise. The percentage of people identifying as atheist, agnostic or unaffiliated went from 16 percent to just under 23 percent over the same time period, the study revealed.
The faiths that saw the biggest dips in flocks were mainline Protestants and Catholics — each of which lost 3 percent of their adult members since 2007, according to the study.
Even with the recent decline, America still houses more Christians than any country in the world. One in seven adults is affiliated with some sector of the faith, according to Pew.