How religious are America’s best and brightest?

A Harvard Crimson poll of the university’s Class of 2019 provides a glimpse into the beliefs and practices of incoming freshmen, including sex, politics and drug use. Some of the interesting findings included the religious breakdown, especially when compared with other millennials in the United States.

Harvard’s combined number of atheists and agnostics among its incoming class exceeds the number of Catholics and Protestants, as the Pew Research Center’s Conrad Hackett noted. The number appears to be a striking contrast with the rest of the U.S. millennial population, those from ages 18 to 34.

A Pew survey suggested a decline in Christianity in the country, especially among millennials, although Harvard’s freshmen still don’t appear to reflect the rest of the nation’s millennials.

Among the general population in the United States, 52 percent of millennials identify as Protestant or Catholic, according to Pew, compared with 34.1 percent of Harvard’s incoming class. And 13 percent of millennial Americans identify as atheist or agnostic, compared with 37.9 percent of Harvard freshmen who said the same.

Part of the reason why American Christianity is on the decline is because of the number of people who don’t self-identify with a religion anymore.

Pew also asked survey respondents whether they are unaffiliated with faith groups, and 36 percent described themselves as not affiliated.

The Crimson’s poll and Pew’s survey are not perfect comparisons, because they appear to ask about religious identification differently.

Either way, the Crimson’s poll suggests a decline in the number of Protestants and Catholics and a rise in atheists and agnostics in the three years of available data.

For the Class of 2017, the number of Protestants and Catholics was 42.4 percent, compared with 37 percent for the Class of 2018 and 34.1 percent for the Class of 2019.

For atheists and agnostics, the trend is reversed.