Mirroring most other mainline U.S. denominations, United Methodists
are generally older, whiter and wealthier in a nation that is
increasingly populated with young adults, people of color and families
with modest incomes.
The United Methodist Church also is losing more members than it's gaining, with its parishioners increasingly moving to evangelical Protestant churches or choosing not to affiliate with another religious group at all.
That portrait of United Methodism was presented in a landmark study of religion in America released Feb. 25 by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older, the study found that U.S. religion is increasingly diverse and fluid – "a vibrant marketplace where individuals pick and choose religions that meet their needs," leaving religious groups to compete for members