Monday, April 20, 2009

Income and church attendance: High-income people pooh-pooh religion, right? It's food for peasants. The GSS asks about income and church attendance. Those who never attend were scored as 1, and the most frequent attenders--more than weekly--were given an 8. Here are mean scores by personal, annual income (N = 7,062):


Church attendance by annual income category (in thousands)

10-12.5 3.53
20-22.5 3.48
30-35 3.60
40-50 3.54
50-60 3.54
60-75 3.58
75-90 3.38
90-110 3.41
110+ 3.64

The GSS cannot isolate really rich people, but there is no evidence here that church is only for Joe Six Pack.

3 comments:

Razib said...

that's a common finding in a lot of societies. it seems that higher status people are more embedded in institutions. it is even stronger in some european nations where lower classes tend to be anti-clerical.

Anonymous said...

Razib:

The "anti-clerical European lower class" makes sense; Europe has more of a history of religious tyranny. For this reason, many mid to lower class Europeans have a cynical attitude towards religion. The Japanese have a similar attitude towards religion; they have a history of religious fanatics coming to power, the most recent WWII era Japan.
I've read that Russians are now going back to religion, and are actively joining the Orthodox church, the exact opposite of the "forced secularism" during the USSR.
My prediction is that hundreds of years from now, Saudis and Iranians will have an apathetic attitude towards religion, not unlike present-day Western Europe
Sure, the far religious right is very vocal, but Americans have not yet experienced religious fanatics controlling peoples lives.

Anonymous said...

My prediction is that hundreds of years from now, Saudis and Iranians will have an apathetic attitude towards religion, not unlike present-day Western EuropeIt won't take hundreds of years, most Saudis and Iranians are much more cynical about religion than you might expect. The fanaticism comes from a pretty narrow base.