Wealth and religion

Wealth and religion

There has been some research on the correlation of wealth and religion.

Wealth is the status of being the beneficiary or proprietor of a large accumulation of capital and economic power.

Religion is a social phenomenon in which groups of people agree on certain beliefs about God, the Divine, or other concepts that they consider sacred.

Wealth and organised religion

A study in the United States, published in the Social Forces journal and conducted by Sociology researcher Lisa A. Keister while she was at the Ohio State University, found that adherents of Judaism attained the most wealth, believers of Catholicism and mainline Protestants were in the middle, while conservative Protestants accumulated the least wealth, while in general people who attend religious services achieved more wealth than those who don't (taking into account variations of education and other factors)http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/relgwlth.htm] . The researcher suggests that wealth accumulation is shaped by family processes [http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15178817] .

The median net worth of people believing in the Jewish religion is calculatd at 150 890 USD, while the median net worth of conservative Protestants (including Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, Christian Scientists) was found at 26 200 USD.

Another study, published in the American Journal of Sociology (AJS) by Lisa Keister after she moved to Duke University from Ohio State University, found that "religion affects wealth indirectly through educational attainment, fertility, and female labor force participation" but also found some evidence of direct effects of religion on wealth attainment [http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/525506] .

Wealth and atheism

Atheism and Agnosticism are labels used to describe people who have no religion, believe that no god exists, do not know whether a god exists, or who simply do not care (see also: freethinker).

Some studies have found strong correlations between wealth and lack of religious beliefs. Specifically it has been shown that rich countries are mainly those whose populations do not believe in any god.http://atheism.about.com/b/2008/04/03/religion-wealth-less-religious-countries-are-more-wealthy.htm] [http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=258] .

Religious beliefs of the wealthy

* Bill Gates is thought to be an Agnostic [http://www.nndb.com/people/435/000022369/] .
* Warren Buffett is believed to be an Agnostic [http://www.nndb.com/people/445/000022379/] .
* Carlos Slim Helú is a Maronite Christian [http://magazine.globeinvestor.com/servlet/ArticleNews/story/GIGOLD/20080325/wallentuck20325/GIGOLDMAG/news] .
* Lakshmi Mittal is an adherent of Hinduism [http://billionaires-blog.blogspot.com/2007/11/lakshmi-mitttal-steel-billionaire.html] .
* Mukesh Ambani believes in the Hindu religion [http://www.nndb.com/people/018/000172499/] .
* Larry Ellison is thought to believe in the religion of Judaism [http://www.nndb.com/people/439/000022373/] .
* Larry Page was raised without a religion but his mother was Jewish [http://www.nndb.com/people/830/000044698/] .

"See also: List of the 100 wealthiest people."


Some researchers focusing on the correlation of wealth and religion are:
* Lisa A. Keister ( [http://www.soc.duke.edu/~lkeister/ homepage] )


See also

* Capitalism
* Adam Smith
* Happiness and religion

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