Is religiosity on the wane in Amerca?
Andrew Kohut is the president of the Pew Research Center. He also acts as director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press (formerly the Times Mirror Center for the People & the Press) and the Pew Global Attitudes Project. He was President of The Gallup Organization from 1979 to 1989. In 1989, he founded Princeton Survey Research Associates, an attitude and opinion research firm specializing in media, politics, and public policy studies. He served as founding director of surveys for the Times Mirror Center 1990-1992, and was named its Director in 1993. He is a past president of American Association of Public Opinion Research and the National Council on Public Polls. In 2005, he received the American Association of Public Opinion Research's highest honor, the Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement. He is a frequent press commentator on the meaning and interpretation of opinion poll results and the co-author of four books, including, mostly recently, America Against the World (Times Books). He received an A.B. degree from Seton Hall University in 1964 and studied graduate sociology at Rutgers, the State University, from 1964 to 1966.
Question: Is religiosity on the wane in America?
Andrew Kohut: You know I don’t think that . . . that . . . that . . . that describes it. The new, younger generation is a little bit more secular than younger people were, say, 10 years ago. But it’s only . . . that’s only . . . represents a reversal of a trend of more religiosity that we saw in the ‘90s. This remains an extremely religious country. You’re right about the trend; but in sum and substance, this is the most religious, rich country in the world. In fact it’s probably the only religious, rich country in the world. There is a negative correlation between how religious a country is and what its per capita income is. All you have to do is look at secular Europe, another wealthy part of the planet. And really there’s a lot less religiosity and religious church attendance and all sorts of things in Europe than there is in the United States.
Recorded On: 9/14/07
America is the only religious country in the world that is rich as well, Kohut says.
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