Wealth and religion

The correlation between wealth and religion has been subject to academic research. Wealth is the status of being the beneficiary or proprietor of a large accumulation of capital and economic power. Religion is a cultural system that often involves belief in supernatural forces and may intend to provide a moral system or a meaning of life.

The GDP of countries generally correlates negatively with their religiosity, i.e. the wealthier a population is the more secular it is.[2]



According to a study from 2015, Christians hold the largest amount of wealth (55% of the total world wealth), followed by Muslims (5.0%), Hindus (3.3%), and Jews (1.1%). According to the same study it was found that adherents under the classification Irreligion or other religions hold about 34.8% of the total global wealth.[3]

A study done by the nonpartisan wealth research firm New World Wealth found that 56.2% of the 13.1 million millionaires in the world were Christians,[4] while 6.5% were Muslims, 3.9% were Hindu, and 1.7% were Jewish; 31.7% were identified as adherents of "other" religions or "not religious".

United States

Income Ranking by Religious Group - 2000
A chart illustrating income by religious grouping in the US in 2001

A study in the United States (based on data from 1985–1998), conducted by the sociologist Lisa A. Keister and published in the Social Forces journal, found that adherents of Judaism and Episcopalianism[5] accumulated the most wealth, believers in Catholicism and mainline Protestants were in the middle, while conservative Protestants accumulated the least; in general, people who attend religious services accumulated more wealth than those who do not (taking into account variations of education and other factors).[6] Keister suggested that wealth accumulation is shaped by family processes.[7]

In the United States, 48% of Hindus have a household income of $100,000 or more, and 70% make at least $75,000, which is the highest among all religions in United States.[8] The median net worth of people believing in Judaism is calculated at 150,890 USD, while the median net worth of conservative Protestants (including Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, Christian Scientists) was 26,200 USD. The overall median in the dataset was 48,200 USD.[6]

According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, Jewish ranked as the most financially successful religious group in the United States, with 44% of Jews living in households with incomes of at least $100,000, followed by Hindu (36%), Episcopalians (35%), and Presbyterians (32%).[9] Amongst Jews, in 2016, Modern Orthodox Jews had a median household income of $158,000, while Open Orthodoxy Jews had a median household income of $185,000 (compared to the American median household income of $59,000 in 2016).[10]

According to the same study there is correlation between education and income, about 77% of American Hindus have an undergraduate degree, followed by Jews (59%), Episcopalians (56%), and Presbyterians (47%).[11]


A study published in the American Journal of Sociology by Lisa Keister, found that "wealth affects religion indirectly through educational attainment, fertility, and female labor force participation" but also found some evidence of direct effects of religion on wealth attainment.[12] Keister notes that certain religious beliefs ("one should have many children", "women should not work") lower wealth accumulation, both on the micro- and macro-scale.[12][13]

See also



  1. ^ WIN-Gallup. "Global Index of religion and atheism" (PDF). Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. ^ Survey Reports. "World Publics Welcome Global Trade — But Not Immigration | Pew Global Attitudes Project". Pewglobal.org. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
  3. ^ "Christians hold largest percentage of global wealth: Report". deccanherald.com. 2015-01-14.
  4. ^ The religion of millionaires
  5. ^ Allen 1975.
  6. ^ a b "Religion Helps Shape Wealth Of Americans, Study Finds". Researchnews.osu.edu. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
  7. ^ Keister 2003.
  8. ^ "Hindu-Americans Rank Top in Education, Income". Retrieved Dec 1, 2012.
  9. ^ "How income varies among U.S. religious groups". Pew Research Center. 2016-10-16.
  10. ^ 5 key takeaways, some surprising, from new survey of US Modern Orthodox Jews By BEN SALES 30 September 2017, JTA
  11. ^ "The most and least educated U.S. religious group". Pew Research Center. 2016-10-16.
  12. ^ a b Keister 2008.
  13. ^ Keister, Lisa A. (2 November 2011). "How Religion Contributes to Wealth and Poverty". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 November 2017.


Allen, Irving Lewis (1975). "WASP: From Sociological Concept to Epithet". Ethnicity. 2 (2): 153–162.
Keister, Lisa A. (2003). "Religion and Wealth: The Role of Religious Affiliation and Participation in Early Adult Asset Accumulation". Social Forces. 82 (1): 175–207. doi:10.1353/sof.2003.0094. ISSN 0037-7732. JSTOR 3598143.
 ———  (2008). "Conservative Protestants and Wealth: How Religion Perpetuates Asset Poverty". American Journal of Sociology. 113 (5): 1237–1271. CiteSeerX doi:10.1086/525506.

Further reading

Van Biema, David; Chu, Jeff (2006). "Does God Want You to Be Rich?". Time. Vol. 168 no. 12. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
Weber, Max (1930) [1905]. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Translated by Parsons, Talcott. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. OL 17967952M.
American modernism

American modernism, much like the modernism movement in general, is a trend of philosophical thought arising from the widespread changes in culture and society in the age of modernity. American modernism is an artistic and cultural movement in the United States beginning at the turn of the 20th century, with a core period between World War I and World War II. Like its European counterpart, American modernism stemmed from a rejection of Enlightenment thinking, seeking to better represent reality in a new, more industrialized world.

Consequences of religiosity

Sociologists of religion have stated that religious behaviour may have a concrete impact on a person's life. These consequences of religiosity are thought to include emotional and physical health, spiritual well-being, personal, marital, and family happiness. Although

a simple correlation between religiosity and well-being is repeatedlly reported in the research literature, recent multivariate research (which controls for other predictors of well-being) suggests religiosity's contribution to happiness is minuscule and sometimes negative.

Douglas W. Owsley

Douglas W. Owsley, Ph.D. (born July 21, 1951) is an American anthropologist who is the current Head of Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). He is widely regarded one of the most prominent and influential archaeologists and forensic anthropologists in the world in some popular media. In September 2001, he provided scientific analysis at the military mortuary located at Dover Air Force Base, following the 9/11 attack in Washington D.C. The following year, the US Department of Defense honored him with the Commander's Award for Civilian Service for helping in the identification of 60 federal and civilian victims who died when American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.As a forensic anthropologist, Owsley has consulted with individuals, organizations, and government agencies to excavate and reconstruct skeletal remains, identify the deceased, and determine the cause of death. Notable cases include analysis and identification of Jeffrey Dahmer's first victim; excavation and study of the H. L. Hunley Confederate submarine in Charleston Harbor; excavation of the historic Jamestown Colony; analysis and identification of 82 victims of the siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas; processing and identification of US servicemen killed during Operation Desert Storm; and research, analysis, and identification of individuals buried in 17th-century iron coffins discovered in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland and an apartment complex in the Columbia Heights area of Washington, D.C.The research and analysis that Owsley has completed throughout his career has done much more than assess modern human remains. Controversially, he injected himself into the debate over claims of ownership over Kennewick Man a (Paleo-Indian), which he studied and concluded, erroneously, that its bones were not related to present-day Native Americans. He has been involved in the excavation and identification of historic and prehistoric skeletal remains discovered around the world. As part of his work with the Smithsonian, he has overseen the forensic examination of over 13,000 skeletons and human remains originating from over an estimated 10,000 years. The 1996 discovery of skeletal remains found in Kennewick, Washington along the Columbia River, uncovered a prehistoric Paleo-Indian man dating back to a calibrated age of 9,800 years, while analysis on the Spirit Cave mummy, established an age of over 10,650 years.In 2003, Owsley's biography, No Bone Unturned: Inside the World of a Top Forensic Scientist and His Work on America's Most Notorious Crimes and Disasters, was published by HarperCollins, and this served as the basis of a Discovery Channel documentary, entitled Skeleton Clues, as well as an ABC News 20/20 segment entitled Murders, Mysteries, History Revealed in Bones. He was also featured in the film Nightmare in Jamestown, produced by National Geographic. In 2005, Owsley was honored alongside other influential figures in the list of "35 Who Made a Difference", published in the November issue of the Smithsonian Magazine.

Economics of religion

The economics of religion concerns both the application of economic techniques to the study of religion and the relationship between economic and religious behaviours. The relationship between religion and economic behaviour was first identified by Max Weber who attributed the modern advent of capitalism to the Protestant reformation. Adam Smith laid the foundation for economic analysis for religion in The Wealth of Nations stating religious organisations are subject to market forces, incentive and competition problems like any other sector of the economy. Empirical work examines the causal influence of religion in microeconomics to explain individual behaviour and in the macroeconomic determinants of economic growth. Religious (or theological) economics is a related subject sometimes overlapping or conflated with the economics of religion.

Intimate relationship

An intimate relationship is an interpersonal relationship that involves physical or emotional intimacy. Although an intimate relationship is commonly a sexual relationship, it may also be a non-sexual relationship involving family, friends, or acquaintances.Emotional intimacy involves feelings of liking or loving one or more people, and may result in physical intimacy. Physical intimacy is characterized by romantic love, sexual activity, or other passionate attachment. These relationships play a central role in the overall human experience. Humans have a general desire to belong and to love, which is usually satisfied within an intimate relationship. Such relationships allow a social network for people to form strong emotional attachments.

Julius Meier

Julius L. Meier (December 31, 1874 – July 14, 1937) was an American businessman, civic leader, and politician in the state of Oregon. The son of the Meier & Frank department store founder, he would become a lawyer before entering the family business in Portland. Politically an independent, Meier served a single term as the 20th Governor of Oregon from 1931–1935. He is the only independent to be elected Governor of Oregon.

Kari Bruwelheide

Kari Bruwelheide (born March 16, 1967) is an American archaeologist and anthropologist. She is known for her work as a physical anthropologist, bioarchaeologist, and forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.

Since joining the Smithsonian in 1992, she has assisted Douglas W. Owsley, Division Head of Physical Anthropology, identify skeletal remains and determine the cause of death in various high-profile forensic cases. These cases have included studying the remains of three individuals discovered buried in the Chesapeake Bay area of St. Mary's City, Maryland, during a remote sensing survey at the foundation of the 17th-century Brick Chapel Catholic Church; examining and identifying the remains of victims of the siege on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas; examining the remains excavated in the historic Jamestown Colony; and assisting in the identification of American Civil War soldiers who perished aboard the H. L. Hunley Confederate submarine.

She is co-curator, along with Owsley, of the exhibition Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th-Century Chesapeake. In 2010, Bruwelheide, Owsley, and the Museum's staff of the Department of Exhibits were honored with the Smithsonian Secretary's Distinguished Research Prize, recognizing the success of the Written In Bone exhibit, which was open from February 2009 to January 2014.

Malaysia and the Club of Doom

Malaysia and the Club of Doom (The Collapse of The Islamic Countries) is a book published in 2006 by Syed Akbar Ali who argues that countries with a Muslim majority population have collapsed economically, politically and socially.

Religion and business

Religion and business have throughout history interacted in ways that relate to and affected one another, as well as influenced sociocultural evolution, political geographies, and labour laws.

Religious economy

Religious economy may refer to:

Theory of religious economy, the interpretation of religious persons and organizations interacting within a market framework of competing groups and ideologies.It could also refer to:

Buddhist economics, a spiritual and philosophical approach to the study of economics

Cultural economics, the branch of economics that studies the relation of culture to economic outcomes

Christian finance, ethical finance following Christian ethics

Economic imperialism (economics)

Economics of religion, the application of economic theory and methods to explain the religious behaviour of individuals and groups

Female labor force in the Muslim world

Institutional economics, the study of role of institutions and evolutionary processes in shaping economic behaviour

Islamic economics

Jewish business ethics, ethical issues that arise in a business environment using Jewish ethics

New institutional economics, the study of social and legal norms and rules that underlie economic activity

Religion and business

Sociology of religion, the study of the beliefs, practices, and organizational forms of religion using the methods of sociology

Wealth and religion

Second relation letter from Hernán Cortés to emperor Charles V

The Second relation letter from Hernán Cortés to emperor Charles V is one of the five Letters of relation written by Hernán Cortés to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor by his name in the Holy Roman Empire, and to his mother, the queen Joanna of Castile in which he relates his trips to Mexico and the conquest of Mexico-Tenochtitlán. This second letter was dated on 30 October 1520.

Venus Preserved

Venus Preserved is a 2003 fantasy/science fiction novel by World Fantasy Award and British Fantasy Award winner Tanith Lee. Set in a doomed state of a fictitious, alternate Venice, Venus Preserved is the fourth installment in Lee's The Secret Books of Venus series. The novel, set centuries in the future, follows the main character, Picaro, as he follows his cursed fate to the undersea city of Venus. Over the course of the story, the city, controlled by a futuristic computer automated network, is experimenting with human revitalization, which ultimately takes a turn for an absurdly shocking worse.

Extreme wealth
See also

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.