Survey: U.S. Jews have highest well-being

Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:01 AM

PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Jews and Mormons report a higher well-being than other U.S. faith groups, while those with no religious identity had the lowest well-being, a survey indicated.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index -- based on an analysis of more than 676,000 interviews of U.S. adults, conducted from Jan. 2, 2010, to Dec. 30, 2011 -- found very religious Americans of all major faiths have higher overall well-being than do their respective counterparts who are moderately religious or non-religious.

Americans' degree of religiousness, as defined by the Gallup analysis, was based on responses to two questions about the importance of religion and church attendance. Survey participants were sorted into groups labeled very religious, moderately religious and non-religious.

Mormons were the most religious of the groups, with 73.4 percent categorized as very religious. Protestants, Muslims and Roman Catholics were next in order of religiousness, although less than half of the latter two of these groups were classified as very religious.

Americans who identify with other non-Christian religions, Jews and those with no formal religious identity were labeled the least religious of any of the faith groups.

For three religious groups -- Jews, other non-Christians and Mormons -- those who were non-religious and moderately religious have essentially the same well-being, lower than those who are very religious.

For all three reported Protestant groups, the margin of error was 0.5 percentage point, but for smaller groups of fewer than 1,000 respondents, such as some of those found for Mormons, Jews or Muslims, the margin of error could range as high as 6 percentage points.

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