April 16, 2012

Religion: More Important to Americans Than Western Europeans

50%

Half of Americans deem religion to be very important in their lives; less than a quarter of people in Spain, Germany, Britain and France share this view.

Half of Americans deem religion to be very important in their lives; less than a quarter of people in Spain (22%), Germany (21%), Britain (17%) and France (13%) share this view.

Moreover, Americans are far more inclined than Western Europeans to say it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values. Just over half (53%) of Americans hold this view, compared with just one-third of people in Germany, 20% in Britain, 19% in Spain and 15% in France.

In the U.S., a gender divide exists. About six-in-ten (59%) American women say that religion is very important in their lives, compared with 41% of men. Similarly, while a majority of American women (58%) say it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values, just 47% of men hold this view.

Generational differences also exist. A majority (56%) of Americans ages 50 and older say that religion is very important to them, compared to just 41% of those younger than 30. Also, 58% of Americans ages 50 and older say that one must believe in God in order to be moral and have good values; 46% of those younger than 30 share this view. Read More