Honestly, I found this article a bit irritating. A few comments...
The article does acknowledge the poll data gathering methodology's shortcomings, which is commendable. The problem is that it trusts the conclusion anyway, and even suggests that, if the polls are inaccurate, it's that the results under-represent the number of atheists. So... what is my takeaway supposed to be from this? It's like they're saying 'here are some flawed polls that suggest that there's a lot of atheists, but we're gonna just decide that there's a bunch MORE than that based on nothing but our own intuition.'
Other issues I'd like to comment on:
"“There’s a lot of atheists in the closet,” Gervais says. “And ... if they knew there are lots of people just like them out there, that could potentially promote more tolerance.” "
Nonsense. Maybe if you're living in a rural midwest town where everybody goes to the same 3 churches... then MAYBE. The thing is, we're living in a time where calling yourself an Atheist is pretty fashionable. It lets you count yourself as one of the 'enlightened' and 'scientific thinking' people of modern times. (Remember, the media tells us that religious belief and belief in science can't coexist... which is utter nonsense of course, but that's the narrative they're selling.) I even know a few people who call themselves atheists even though they really aren't because it gains them more acceptance in their preferred social circles. Keep in mind that in our culture, there's a drummed up war between Christians and LGBTQ people. At least, that's how popular media likes to portray it. Calling yourself an atheist lets you pass the cultural litmus tests.
"Study after study has shown that most people (even other atheists) believe atheists are less moral."
Well, yeah. Of course. Taken as individuals, there's no way to know whether any particular atheist is more or less moral than any particular religious believer. That said, it's a simple fact that Atheism as a belief category doesn't have any built-in moral values, behavioral mores or standards of personal conduct, whereas most religions do.
In my personal view, genuine atheists are more rare than you might think. Many of the people who call themselves atheists really do believe in God deep down, but claim otherwise either because they want to fit in with the groups they've chosen to associate with or they have some personal anger where God is concerned and call themselves atheists as a form of rebellion. I know a few people like this, and it's comically obvious.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."