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Stereotypes of the Religious: How faith correlates with social status

Common stereotypes suggest that Episcopalians are rich, Southern Baptists vote Republican, Unitarians are well-educated, and Mormons have strong families. A project to examine those assumptions was conducted using the 2010 U.S. Religion Census, the 2010 American Community Survey, and county-level voting records for 2004, 2008, and 2012. In addition to valuable insights into correlations between religious adherence and a range of demographic descriptors, it turns out that areas with high concentrations of Episcopalians are also areas with higher income levels, but the correlation between high concentrations of Catholics and higher incomes is even stronger; and while Southern Baptists do have the strongest correlation to voting Republican, United Methodists are close behind. Unitarian-Universalists have the expected high education correlation, and a very strong negative correlation to dropping out of high school. Mormons do have the expected strong positive correlation to family and children. Examine the report, located on the website of the 2010 U.S. Religion Census, for more descriptive correlations between religious adherence and social location in the United States. For more demographic data, read our feature article, "Best Resources for Demographic Research." Also read our article, "Latest Census of U.S. Congregations," for another perspective on data from the 2010  U.S. Religious Census, including demographic data on the nondenominational movement, and demographic data on Islam.

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