While 60 percent said they agreed that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” 24 percent of respondents said that “a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today.”
Thirty-two percent believed that evolution was a natural process and did not involve any higher power.
A widening gap in responses along party lines is largely due to a drop among Republicans, with 43 percent agreeing that humans evolved over time, down from 54 percent in 2009.
Nearly two-thirds of Democrats (67 percent) and Independents (65 percent) said they believed in evolution.
Racial and ethnic differences in the two parties did not account for their differing beliefs and the gap remained even when these were factored.
While a majority of white evangelical Protestants and a half of black Protestants believe humans existed in their current form since the beginning of time, nearly 80 percent of mainline Protestants said humans evolved over time.
Seventy six percent of the religiously unaffiliated, 68 percent of white non-Hispanic Catholics and about half of Hispanic Catholics also believed in the theory of evolution.
Among those aged 18-29, 68 percent say humans evolved over time, compared with 60 percent of those aged 30-49, 59 percent of those aged 50-64 and less than half of those aged 65 and older at 49 percent. Seventy-two percent of college graduates say humans evolved over time compared with 51 percent of those with a high school diploma or less.