We all know someone who has claimed to have seen a ghost and while belief in God is down, polls show that belief in the supernatural is up. The below info is based on polling that took place in 2013, linked above. There hasn’t been a similar poll of this kind since.
1. 74% of Americans polled stated they believe in God. This was down from 82% in 2005, 2007, and 2009.
2. At the same time, belief in ghosts, UFOs, and reincarnation are up.
3. Americans are far more likely to say that they believe others have had encounters with ghosts than they are to say they believe in ghosts themselves.
4. 61% of the population says that they believe that other people have “experienced ghosts.”
5. By comparison, only 42% of Americans will say that they themselves believe in ghosts.
6. Lets be clear about what these answers mean before we continue. If you tell me that you have seen a ghost and I say I believe you then that logically means that I must believe that ghosts exist otherwise I wouldn’t believe you. They either exist or they don’t. They can’t just exist sometimes and for some people. It’s a yes or no question. Therefore, those that say that they believe others have experienced ghosts also necessarily believe in ghosts themselves.
I’m betting the disparity lies in people not wanting to admit how much they believe in the paranormal.
7. Of those individuals who stated they believe others had encountered ghosts women outnumbered men. 68% of women asked stated they believed others had experienced ghosts, 52% of men did.
8. The older the person asked, the more likely they were to believe that ghosts are possible. People older than 45 were 8-10% more likely to believe in the possibility of ghosts than those younger.
9. 20% more Democrats than Republicans believe people have encountered ghosts, 69% to 49%, respectively.
10. 12% more political Independents than Republicans believe in ghosts, 61% to 49%.
11. 61% of the people who believe in the possibility of ghosts or that “others” had experienced ghosts are registered to vote.
12. Along racial lines, Blacks and Hispanics were 2% more likely to believe others had experienced ghosts than Whites.
13. 68% of non-high school graduates believe “others” have experienced ghosts, only 45% of those who went to graduate school do.
14. Despite the South being considered a generally more superstitious area of the country, people from the Northeast are 2% more likely to believe other people experienced ghosts than those in the South, 61% to 63%.
15. Along those same lines, 65% of people from the West believe others have experienced ghosts.
16. The Midwest, long known for producing some of the most no nonsense people in the country is the region least likely to answer that they believe anyone’s ever experienced a ghost at 54%.
17. Way more White people than Black or Hispanic people claim to have experienced something “paranormal.” It’s a pretty big margin. 34% of Whites compared to 27% of Blacks and 21% of Hispanics.
18. 13% more women than men claim to have experienced something paranormal.
19. I’m not sure what this means but of the 18% of Americans who claim to be “not sure” if they’d experienced the paranormal before, even less of them were registered to vote at 17%. This may point to a certain tendency to shoulder shrug generally in this segment of the population.
Ghosts? *Shrug*. Vote?. *Shrug*.
20. People from the West were the most likely to say they had experienced the paranormal at 39%.
21. People from the Northeast are the least likely to say they had experienced the paranormal at 25%.
22. 6% more people in the U.S. claim they believe in ghosts than believe Creationism is real, 42% to 36%.
23. 26% of Americans believe in witches.
24. 3% more people believe in reincarnation today than did in 2005. It’s unclear if this has to do with an increase in the Hindu population or not.
25. I find this one the most interesting piece of information out of all of them. Education level generally doesn’t determine whether someone believes they’ve experienced something paranormal that could not be explained by science. Along all educational levels excepting those that went to graduate school, at least 30% of people claim to have experienced something paranormal. This spans non-high school grads all the way to college grads. Post graduates were the holdouts with only 17% believing they’d experienced the paranormal.
26. But oddly, people with post graduate degrees were the second most likely group to not be sure whether they’d experienced the paranormal or not at 19%. Only those with only high school degrees were like more likely to not be sure at 21%.
27. As a region, people from the South are the most likely to not be sure whether they’ve experienced the paranormal or not at 19%. The Northeast and the West are tied for least likely to be unsure at 16%. The Midwest is at 18%.
28. Yeah, tons of Americans believe in ghosts.
29. One last thing, belief in evolution is up 5% since 2005.