God and Mammon, Part 2

GOD AND MAMMON, PART 2….This is indeed an interesting chart (via Sullivan) from a Pew global survey that was released earlier this month. It’s interesting, of course, because it’s a graphical demonstration of something I’ve long figured was true, and like most of us, I just love it when I see confirmation of a preexisting belief.

Motivation aside, though, it’s still interesting, even if it’s not surprising. As people get less religious, they get wealthier. Or perhaps the other way around. Or perhaps there’s something else behind both trends.

But whichever it is (probably a bit of all three), the United States, as usual, is an outlier. The United States is always an outlier on these kinds of things. Which reminds me: I’d love to see this same scatterplot for states or counties within the U.S. Has anyone ever done that?

The full Pew report is here.

UPDATE: Ask and ye shall receive. Reader Chris T. emails a chart he created from 2000 state data, using number of churches per capita as a proxy for religiosity (raw data here). That’s not a perfect equivalent by any stretch, but it certainly captures the rough-and-ready bloggy spirit. Feel free to interpret as you will.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation