A newly released study found that actively religious people are more likely to describe themselves as “very happy” than those who are inactively religious or not religious.
The Pew Research Center surveyed people from around the world and found similar results among respondents.
In the United States, 36 percent of those who are actively religious described themselves as “very happy,” while only 25 percent of the inactively religious and 25 percent of the unaffiliated characterized themselves in this way.
The actively religious are also less likely than the unaffiliated to smoke or drink alcohol.
In all but two of the 19 countries surveyed, the actively religious are less likely to smoke than the unaffiliated.
“The actively religious also tend to drink less, although the findings are not as stark: In 11 of the 19 countries, people who attend services at least monthly are less likely than the rest of the population to drink several times a week,” according to Pew.
In many countries, actively religious people are more likely than their less religious peers to describe themselves as “very happy” pic.twitter.com/TJcgs914eR
— Conrad Hackett (@conradhackett) January 31, 2019
An additional finding of the study is that in 12 of the countries polled, the religiously active are more likely to be engaged civically in nonreligious voluntary organizations.
In the U.S., 58 percent of the actively religious are involved in at least one nonreligious organization, versus 51 percent of inactively religious and 39 percent of the unaffiliated.
The actively religious also vote in higher percentages than their counterparts.
Sixty-nine percent of actively religious Americans say they always vote, compared with 59 percent of the inactive and 48 percent of the unaffiliated.
In fact, there are no countries in which the actively religious are significantly less likely to vote than others.
Pew Research associate Joey Marshall tweeted regarding the study’s finding: “Key takeaway: the well-being gaps that we observe are largely driven by active participation in the social life of a religious community, not simply identifying with a religious faith.”
Key takeaway: the well-being gaps that we observe are largely driven by active participation in the social life of a religious community, not simply identifying with a religious faith. Read the full report here: https://t.co/vq0gYss092 9/9
— Joey Marshall (@joeydm) January 31, 2019
Over 15,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 60 years old were surveyed.
Forty-five percent of those who went to religious services at least once a week described themselves as “very happy.”
Meanwhile, only 28 percent who said they never went to services characterized themselves in that way.
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