Seven in 10 U.S. adults say they are members of a church or synagogue, as determined by the 1987 Gallup audit.

The 1987 figure matches the percentage found in 1986.

The highest figure in the half-century trend occurred in 1947 when 76 percent said they belonged to a church or synagogue.

The lowest rate was recorded in 1982 when 67 percent claimed membership.

In the 1987 audit, as in past years, a higher proportion of women (75 percent) than men (63 percent) report belonging to a church or synagogue.

Also, membership increases progressively with age, from 62 percent of those aged 18 to 29 to 76 percent among those 65 and older.

Education does not appear to be a major factor in church or synagogue membership, but sharp differences are found by region, with southerners more likely and westerners less likely to be members.

Membership levels also differ by race, with 69 percent of whites compared with 85 percent of blacks claiming church membership.

It is important to bear in mind that membership figures reported here are self-classifications, representing the proportions of people who say they are members of a church or synagogue, and thus may include some who are not actually on the rolls of a local church. It should also be noted that adherents of certain churches -- for example, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches -- are considered members at birth.

The latest findings are based on 4,740 in-person interviews with adults 18 years and older conducted in three selected weeks in 1987 in more than 300 scientifically selected localities across the nation.RELIGIOUS MEMBERSHIP PERCENTAGE OF ADULTS IN U.S. WHO SAY THEY ARE MEMBERS OF A CHURCH OR SYNAGOGUE YEAR----PCT.----YEAR----PCT.---- 1987----69----1976----71---- 1986----69----1975----71---- 1985----71----1965----73---- 1984----68----1952----73---- 1983----69----1947----76---- 1982----67----1944----75---- 1981----68----1942----75---- 1980----69----1940----72---- 1979----68----1939----72---- 1978----68----1938----73---- 1977----70----1937----73----