Pew Research Center
OCTOBER 11, 2016
How income varies among U.S. religious groups
BY _DAVID MASCI_ (http://www.pewresearch.org/staff/david-masci/)
While there is a strong and proven _correlation between education and
, it’s harder to know whether there also
is a link between religion and wealth. 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
Some of the most financially successful religious groups – Jews, Hindus,
Episcopalians, and Presbyterians – also are all among the nation’s most
educated as well. These rankings, which come from our 2014 _Religious
(http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/income-distribution/) , are
based on the percentage of people within each religious group
who reside in households with a yearly income of $100,000 or more.
About four-in-ten Jews (44%) and roughly a third of Hindus (36%) and
Episcopalians (35%) live in households with incomes of at least $100,000.
these groups also have high levels of _educational attainment_
instance, nearly half of Hindu adults and almost one-third of Jewish adults
hold postgraduate degrees. Indeed, in addition to education, other factors,
such as age, race and ethnicity also are correlated with both religion and
Members of three other mainline Protestant denominations – the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the
United Methodist Church –also have high household income. So, too, do
self-identified atheists and agnostics, which may call into question any link
high levels of religious belief and wealth. Members of all these groups
also are more likely to be highly educated than the general population.
Among those denominations with the lowest household income are two
historically black churches, the National Baptist Convention (9% live in
households with incomes of at least $100,000) and the Church of God in Christ
Jehovah’s Witnesses also have low household income (4%). In all three of
these groups, nearly half of all members have household incomes of less than
$30,000 per year.
Given that roughly one-in-five Americans identify as Catholic, it’s not
surprising that the share of Catholics in the top income bracket (19%) is the
same as the nation as a whole. Members of one of the country’s largest
Protestant denominations, the Southern Baptist Convention, are only slightly
less well off, with 16% in households making $100,000 or more.
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