03/01/2013 10:35 am ET

U.S. Hispanics Are Becoming Less Catholic

Catholicism has a famed strong grip on Hispanic communities—and it is loosening. A Gallup poll released earlier this week found that the number of Hispanics who identify as Catholic in the US dropped from 58% to 54% between 2008 and 2012. Over the same four-year period, Hispanics who identify as Protestant rose slightly, from 27% to 28%.

This demographic shift reflects a trend happening in Latin America. According to the polling service Latinobarómetro, the number of Catholic Hispanics in Latin America dropped 11% from 1996 to 2010, while the number of evangelicals, often a synonym for Protestants in Latin America, rose 9%.

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