PRINCETON, NJ — Very religious Americans of all major faiths have higher overall wellbeing than do their respective counterparts who are moderately religious or nonreligious. This relationship, based on an analysis of more than 676,000 interviews as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, is statistically significant after controlling for major demographic and regional variables.
The findings confirm that the strong positive relationship between religiosity and wellbeing that Gallup previously demonstrated holds regardless of faith. Furthermore, the relationship appears to be largely independent of the proportions of very religious, moderately religious, and nonreligious in each religious group, and it is more closely aligned with the faith itself. Muslims, for example, have a much lower level of wellbeing than do Jews. At the same time, the “wellbeing gap” that exists between Muslims’ and Jews’ most religious and least religious constituencies is roughly the same, even though Jews have fewer very religious identifiers.