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Contemporary paganism by the numbers

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores what the numbers tell about Neopagans. In 1992, Aidan Kelly estimated that there were 300,000 Neopagans in the United States. During this same period CUNY, in its National Survey of Religious Identification Survey (NSRI) found that there were 8,000 Wiccans in the United States. Paganism is the fastest growing religion in the United States. Pagans tend to be well-educated, middle class, and disproportionately female. They tend to earn around the median income in the United States. Neopaganism is not a political but a spiritual or religious movement. They are politically active. Their socio-economic background contributes to their level of political activity. Neopagans pride themselves on being in control of their own spirituality. Most would self-define as Wiccans or Pagans. The growth of the Internet and how-to-books on Witchcraft and Paganism has resulted in the growth of solitary practitioners, who make up the majority of Pagans.

Keywords: CUNY; Neopagans; Paganism; United States; Wiccans; Witchcraft



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