Using a dataset of 15,000 subjects from 32 Western countries, the current study examines individuals who were raised in a certain religion and, at some stage of their lives, left it. Currently, they define their religious affiliation as 'no religion'. A battery of explanatory variables (country-specific, personal attributes and marriage variables) was employed to test for determinants of this decision. It was found that the tendency of individuals to leave their religion-the most extreme symptom of secularization-is strongly correlated with their liberal beliefs and with parental and spousal religious characteristics. Moreover, country characteristics, as well as personal socio-demographic features seem to be much less relevant, except for the religious diversity of the country that has a positive effect on disaffiliation.
- National aggregates