Thursday, April 14, 2016

Highly Religious Americans Happier than Others, Give More to the Poor

Pew Research Center has a new study out comparing Americans who attend religious services weekly and pray daily (30%) with other Americans (70%).

Turns out the areas where there are significant differences come in being happier (near 40% more likely), having closer family relationships (near 55% more likely), and giving more to help the poor (near 60% more likely).
On average, Americans who say they attend religious services weekly and pray daily also report being happier than those who are less religiously committed. Four-in-ten highly religious adults say they are generally “very happy,” compared with 29% of those who are less religious. Those who are not highly religious are somewhat more likely than the most devout to say they are “pretty happy” (54% vs. 46%) or “not too happy” (14% vs. 12%).
Highly religious Americans see their extended families more often. Nearly half (47%) say they do this at least once or twice a month, while only 30% of less religious adults get together with extended family as often. Americans who are not highly religious are twice as likely as those who are highly religious to say they seldom or never attend gatherings with extended family (31% vs. 16%).
Volunteerism and donations to the poor are especially common practices for those who are highly religious. Among people who pray daily and attend services weekly, 45% also say they volunteered in the past week (including 23% who did so mainly through a church or other religious organization). Just 28% of Americans who are not highly religious say they volunteered in the past seven days. The gap is even bigger when it comes to helping the poor: 65% of the highly religious say they donated money, time or goods to help the poor in the past week, compared with 41% of all other U.S. adults.
It kind of follows that those who have closer extended family relationships would be happier. The interesting thing is how many people of faith have given to the poor in the last week. People of faith are pretty activist.

There is apparently not much difference between "highly religious" folks and others regarding anger, "white lies", living healthy and environmental consciousness.


MAX Redline said...

On the other hand, "highly religious" people are more likely to blow themselves up, and take as many infidels as they can with them. I might buy into this if it was broken down by categories. As presented, not so much.

T. D. said...

The Jihadists certainly skew the highly religious happiness rate down. The only upside is they are a tiny percentage. Imagine what the Occupy crowd does to the non-highly religious. Heh.