A Survey of Religions, Practices and Demographics

The source is Pew Research. You can explore their numbers here. These are numbers for the USA. Other nations will differ.

Based on Pew Research, there are some metrics that I thought I’d share. I only threw up one chart because they’re difficult to read on the blog. I did go through other charts on the website.

I’m picking the two highest and the two lowest in each category. You’ll note that I cherry-picked categories, not based on what might or might not be the most important, but on what most interested me at the time.

Regular Attendance at Religious Services

Jehovah’s Witness  (85%)  Mormon (77%)

Buddhist and Hindu tied at 18%, Jews were close with 19%

 

Map – People say they are highly religious (in the lower 48)

The American South comes in with larger numbers, and I didn’t find that surprising.

 

Marital Status (percentage married)

Mormon (66%) Hindu (60%)

Black Protestant (31%)  Buddhist (39%)

 

Importance of Religion

Jehovah’s Witness (90%)  Black Protestant (85%)

Buddhist (33%)  Hindu (26%)

 

Religion by County

Again, no real surprises, with the Southern Baptists dominating in the South, the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) in the Intermountain West, Lutherans in the North and the Methodists in the Mid-West. There are more Catholics than any other single faith and they’re everywhere.

 

Standards for Right and Wrong

Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses tied at 57%

Hindus and Muslims tied at 20%

 

Political Affiliation

Republicans – Mormon (70%) Evangelical Protestants (57%)

Democrats – Buddhists (69%) Jewish (64%)

 

Income 

Wealthiest (over $100K/yr) – Jewish (44%) Hindu (36%)

Poorest (under $30K/yr) – Black Protestants (53%) Jehovah’s Witness (48%)

 

Education

High School/less – Jehovah’s Witness (63%) Black Protestant (53%)

College Grad/Post Grad – Hindu (77%) Jewish (60%)

 

Believe in Heaven

Mormon (95%) Black Protestant (93%)

Jewish (40%) Buddhist (47%)

 

Some interesting numbers

In General, Catholics were always somewhere in the middle as a group on the categories that Pew surveyed.

On Abortion, 48% of Catholics thought that it should be legal in most cases and 47% thought that it should be illegal in most cases.

On Reading Scripture, 44% of mainline Protestants responded “seldom or never”.

On Feelings of Spiritual Wellbeing, Jewish people were the lowest at 39%.

Government Aid to the Poor, was favored by the poorest and “Does more harm than good” was topped by Mormons at 64%. The Mormons have their own aid/welfare to members program and it’s quite extensive. So no surprises there.

19 COMMENTS

  1. I seem to remember something about early settlers going west of the Appalachian Mountains to get away from religion. This would have been in the southern regions.
    At some point in the future, these settlements gave rise to some serious religious revivals.
    Wonder if there will be any parallels to that in the regions today that have been driving out Christianity.

    • The religious revivals of the early and mid-1800’s swept the historical landscape in the US in a similar and dissimilar way to the rise of Protestantism in Europe. There were not the wars (freedom of religion in the USA) in the US. Missouri did issue an “extermination order” – shoot on sight – for Latter Day Saints/Mormons but a lot of that had to do with the fact that they were abolitionists in a fight over whether states would be free or slave. And subsequent to that there was the Civil War/War of Northern Aggression/War of the Rebellion.

      When people are rich, they tend (trend) to ignore God. And this nation has become wealthy. Additionally, there is dissatisfaction with the way the major religions react to situations. None of them have forcefully condemned BLM/AntiFA, for example. Why is that? I can’t say. I don’t run a major religion and they don’t come to me for advice.

      • In the area I grew up(Midwest) my parents(WWII generation) were raised to think that it was bad manners to openly discuss religion. I’ve read a few things about organized attempts to dismiss/ridicule religion at the start of the 20th century.
        After several generations of the misuse of the ‘separation of church and state’ line, as well as the blanket & long term blasting of all Christianity for the excesses of Catholicism that started during the Middle Ages, I can see where mainstream religions felt the need to turn the other cheek.
        Dissatisfaction – I remember a mainstream student pastor saying that the students from the congregation I attended at that time had an unfair advantage, since they studied the Bible. Hosea 4:6….nothing new under the sun?

        • I discuss religion – sorta – on the blog. I don’t launch from the diving board into doctrine because that’s not why this blog exists. This post was designed to make us think – primarily because pouring over the surveys that Pew Research did caused me to think. We each approach God and godly things in our own way, and I think that’s the only way that we can do it.

          • Self-study:
            I see “Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
            Then I look at people and see some studying so they can show off how approved they are, and others studying so they can hector others about how unapproved the others are.
            Yeah – don’t want to go there, and turn away from those who practice either of those malfunctions.
            I guess I can call this the end of my own mini-sermon.

          • A true genius is proud of his intellect the way a prisoner is proud of his large cell. The real geniuses move in different circles and in different ways than the professors of religion usually do.

            I’ve crossed paths with the famous and infamous in my life. I spent time with Billy Graham at one point when he was middle-aged and on his way up. True of some others too. I’ll avoid further comment on the topic but it has made life interesting, and is grist for reflection now that I’m older.

  2. Having lived around LDS for many years I’m familiar with their lifestyle. Their “welfare” practice has always impressed me as being more of a hand up than hand out. All recipients are required to give back according to their ability. No matter how impoverished or physically incapacitated, something is found for them to do. This allows them to keep their dignity.

    As to their belief in heaven, that is no surprise. Far too many drive like they are on their way to meet their maker.

  3. Referencing: When people are rich, they tend (trend) to ignore God. And this nation has become wealthy.

    I think everyone knows the quote from Matthew 19:24, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” and it’s all because of pride making them self-centered. While I can honestly only remember one sermon on that verse, the number of teachings on pride has got to be in the hundreds. (I think in that bar graph you have, I’d be an evangelical protestant).

    • The Eye of the needle was a gate that allowed access to the City of Jerusalem. It was a foot gate, and in order for a camel to enter, it had to be unburdened and “walk” through on its knees. You can’t serve your wealth and serve God. Jesus told the rich young man to give everything that he had to the poor and ‘come follow me’. He couldn’t do it. Same lesson.

  4. A bit of a sad commentary on where God stands in this country as man-made doctrine has superseded the Gospel. Wonder what Mr. Graham thinks from his current view? Your numbers shows the Lord’s work must go on else we lose more ground as human nature appears to be regressing. One cannot be on the Left – morally – and believe in God…a [modern] Democrat vote negates God.

    The prescription, while not always easy, is simple: Read your Bible, give the day to God, pray as the spirit moves (not just a cliche’), and find some quiet time to listen and recharge the spiritual batteries. Unless – as you say, re: “the narrow gate” – one is not humble enough to do so. I dare say strong men and woman are precisely so because they are humble.

    Sermon over. (If I may be so bold)

  5. Interesting. I was talking to a churchman after Mass #1 and declaimed, “If only Evangelicals and Catholics would vote en masse according to the Gospel.” He had no idea RC’s were traditionally Dem.

    That has to stop.

    • I was raised Roman Catholic, and while my Dad grudgingly approved of Kennedy, he was a solid conservative, and AFAIK voted Republican. He absolutely hated FDR (“Goddamn COMMUNIST” was often heard), but respected Truman. Not sure about my Mom. I tend to think she would have voted for the candidate rather than the party.

      And religion was a touchy subject back then. I almost thought my dear old Irish-Catholic Mother was going to have a stroke when I told her I had a date with a “Jewish Girl”. Both my parents were solid in their faith, and decried the “Holy Rollers” who only showed up for church on Sunday, dressed to the nines, and were nowhere to be found for parish activities like the fish-fry, the annual “Bazaar” or sale, and other things.

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