Friday, November 10, 2006

More on spirituality: I just posted on the topic of ethnicity and feeling connection to all life, and it made me wonder how much of an overlap there is between spirituality and church attendance. According to GSS data on 1,271 people, the correlation between the two is .27. Note that, as a rule, correlations based on survey data are disappointingly low, so relatively speaking, this ain't too shabby. Here is the list of mean church attendance by ethnic group (3=several times per year, 4=once a month):

Mean church attendance score

Blacks 4.44
Mexicans 4.22
Irish 3.97

USA 3.93

Germans 3.92
English/Welsh 3.87
Scandanavians 3.86
Scots 3.77
Italians 3.71
American Indians 3.70
East Asians 3.58

Across the 10 groups, the rank correlation (Spearman's rho) for spirituality and church attendance is .32. Certain groups lower the correlation: the Irish are church-goers but are not spiritual, and Scots and American Indians are spiritual but don't go to church much.

Update: On a related topic, what is the distribution of church membership among American Indians? Three-quarters are Protestant, 9 percent are Catholic, 11 percent have no religion, and only .6 percent report a Native American faith.


  1. Which ethnic groups have the largest difference between men and women in church attendance and spirituality?

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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