A Gallup press release issued today (31 August) reports on surveys which the organization carried out in 114 countries during 2009 into the importance of religion in everyday life. Telephone or face-to-face interviews were conducted with approximately 1,000 adults in each country.
The global median proportion of respondents who said that religion played an important part in their daily lives was 84%. Individual figures ranged from Estonia (16%) to Bangladesh (99%), with a strong national correlation between socio-economic status and religiosity, suggesting that faith is a vital coping mechanism in the developing world.
In the poorest countries, with average per capita incomes of $2,000 or less, the median proportion who said religion was important stood at 95%. In contrast, the median for the richest nations (with per capita incomes higher than $25,000) was 47%. The United States (65%) was the most significant wealthy country to buck this trend.
The United Kingdom came 109th in the league table, with 27% of its citizens saying religion was important in their lives and 73% not. Besides Estonia, only Hong Kong, Japan, Denmark and Sweden recorded lower percentages. Of our major Western European partners, Italy scored 72%, Spain 49%, Germany 40% and France 30%.
The press release and table will be found at: