Tag Archives: statistics

Globally, Women Are More Likely Than Men to be Religious, Pew Research Center Data Says

Women are more likely to be religious, and among atheists, women are the minority, according to recent data from the Pew Research Center.

The first two of these three graphics are based upon surveys of men and women, ages 20 or older, in 192 countries:
Women more likely than men to be affiliated
Women make up the majority of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and an unidentified selection of smaller religious groups:
Religiously affiliated more likely to be female
The United States is sometimes maligned as a religious, patriarchal nation. To the maligners: Why are so many patriarchs atheists and so many matriarchs believers? No one in the U.S. makes a free adult get out of bed on a Sunday morning, and no one makes a free adult hold faith-in-a-higher-power as a background belief. See the graphic below, and consider the population numbers and cultural diversity represented by the listed nations:
Atheists more likely to be men in several countries

Several Data Sets Suggest: ‘The world is not falling apart: The trend lines reveal an increasingly peaceful period in history’

From Slate.com:

“How can we get a less hyperbolic assessment of the state of the world? Certainly not from daily journalism. News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen. We never see a reporter saying to the camera, ‘Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out’—or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up. As long as violence has not vanished from the world, there will always be enough incidents to fill the evening news. And since the human mind estimates probability by the ease with which it can recall examples, newsreaders will always perceive that they live in dangerous times. All the more so when billions of smartphones turn a fifth of the world’s population into crime reporters and war correspondents.”

Source: The world is not falling apart: The trend lines reveal an increasingly peaceful period in history.

American Christianity: Older and less educated

Click here to access a larger view of the following graphic from the Religion News Service, based on figures from the Pew 2007 Religious Landscape Survey.
American Christianity is aging and uneducated, according to this Religion News Service graphic and the Pew 2007 Religious Landscape Survey

A few thoughts spurred by the above graphic:

  • To expand your church, look for younger, uneducated people (see the “nothing in particular” circle).
  • Anglicans are smarter but older.
  • Ecstatic experience seems less likely among the educated.
  • Protestant evangelicals want to reach many people who are both better-educated and younger than they are.
  • On balance, Anglicans are better educated than atheists and agnostics.

Episcopalians outlive other Anglicans and Protestants as a whole

"The Episcopal Church Welcomes You" ...to a slightly longer life.

Life expectancy” is a strange statistic, but hey, if official number-crunchers use it, then it must be useful for something.

Here are some global life-expectancy comparisons, in years, grouped by religious affiliation, based on data from the ICON Group International.


Males: 70
Females: 75

Protestants as a whole

Males: 67
Females: 73


Males: 73
Females: 80

Roman Catholics

Males: 67
Females: 73


Just some interesting stats I discovered: Apparently, the high-water mark for Episcopalians — or membership in The Episcopal Church USA — was from 1959 to 1967. See the stats here. What’s strange, however, is the number of Episcopalian clergy continued … Continue reading

U.S. welfare never stopped growing

Money, not meaning

The goals and priorities of college students have changed in my lifetime, as demonstrated by the shift in the numbers for certain majors.

William Chace, former president of Wesleyan and Emory universities, writing in The American Scholar:

Here is how the numbers have changed from 1970/71 to 2003/04 (the last academic year with available figures):

English: from 7.6 percent of the majors to 3.9 percent

Foreign languages and literatures: from 2.5 percent to 1.3 percent

Philosophy and religious studies: from 0.9 percent to 0.7 percent

History: from 18.5 percent to 10.7 percent

Business: from 13.7 percent to 21.9 percent

Why does this matter? R. Howard Bloch, chair of the Humanities Program at Yale, offers a keen explanation in this article in Humanities magazine:

Humanists are specialists in an activity upon which we daily depend, consciously or not, in everything we do: the making and assessment of meaning. The making of such meaning shapes the world of the arts; it is the operating principle of politics and understandings of the law; it rules our religious belief; it lies at the core of higher education and the development and spread of new knowledge.