11 stats on the religious and spiritual lives of non-binary young people
Of the thousands of young people we surveyed for our research on Gen Z, faith and mental health, one-third said they are not flourishing (another term for succeeding or prospering) in their mental health. Yet, more than half of all nonbinary young people tell us they are not flourishing, compared to about one in four male-identifying young people and one in three female-identifying young people.
But the data show that engaging with religion and spirituality helps, particularly for nonbinary people. Among those nonbinary young people who say they are not spiritual, only 11 percent say they are “flourishing a lot” compared to 25 percent of nonbinary young people who are very spiritual. Only 10 percent of nonbinary young people who say they are not religious say they are “flourishing a lot,” compared to 42 percent of those who are very religious. Yet, only 18 percent of nonbinary young people claim connection to a religious or spiritual community.
Prior social science research shows many nonbinary people are raised in religious and spiritual communities, but these are often the same communities where they first experience marginalization or discrimination. Nonetheless, there’s still many documented ways that religious and spiritual affiliation can positively impact a nonbinary person’s life experience.
These stats reflect details of the religious and spiritual lives of the 503 people who identify as non-binary included in our 2022 data set. While some of these stats may seem like drastic contrasts, they’re reflecting the complex nature of being a young nonbinary person and how that experience shows up differently than their cis counterparts.
Reference: Curley, K. & Leon, R.A. (2019). Religious, secular and spiritual identities: What we know about the transgender and non-binary experience. Journal of Student Affairs, (28), 51-59.