Religious Americans Enjoy Higher Wellbeing

Townhall.com Staff
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Posted: Oct 29, 2010 10:31 AM
A new analysis of more than 550,000 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index interviews conducted over the last year and a half finds that Americans who are the most religious also have the highest levels of wellbeing. The statistically significant relationship between religiousness and wellbeing holds up after controlling for numerous demographic variables. Higher levels of healthy behaviors, life evaluation, work environment perceptions, and emotional health affect religious Americans' high wellbeing.

For the purposes of this analysis, an American's relative degree of religiousness is based on responses to two questions asking about the importance of religion and church attendance, yielding three specific groups: (1) Very religious -- Religion is an important part of daily life and church/synagogue/mosque attendance occurs at least every week or almost every week. This group comprises 43.7% of the adult population; (2) Nonreligious -- Religion is not an important part of daily life and church/synagogue/mosque attendance occurs seldom or never. This group comprises 29.7% of the adult population; and (3) Moderately religious -- All others who do not fall into the very religious or nonreligious groups but who gave valid responses on both religion questions. This group comprises 26.6% of the adult population.