Do income, religion correlate?

Do income, religion correlate?

While it’s long been known that education and income go together, it’s not nearly as easy a task to correlate wealth and religious designation in the United States, according to a Pew Research report released Oct. 11.

“What we can say is that members of some religious groups — not to mention atheists and agnostics — on average have a higher household income than others and those in the richest religious groups also tend, on average, to be better educated than most Americans,” wrote David Masci, senior writer/editor for Pew.

Jewish, Hindus

The nation’s Jewish population topped the list — 44 percent had a household income of $100,000 or more.

But trailing them next in line were Hindus at 36 percent, followed by Episcopalians at 35 percent.

“Again, these groups also have high levels of educational attainment. For instance, nearly half of Hindu adults and almost one-third of Jewish adults hold postgraduate degrees,” Masci wrote. “Indeed, in addition to education, other factors, such as age, race and ethnicity also are correlated with both religion and income.”

High incomes

Three other mainline Protestant denominations — the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Methodist Church — also had high household income, as did atheists and agnostics.

Southern Baptists fell 20th on the list, outranked by a variety of designations including Mormons, Muslims, “nothing in particular” and the numbers for all U.S. adults as a whole.

Only 16 percent of Southern Baptist households had an income of $100,000 or more. (TAB)