Across the world, people who view religion as important to their daily lives report greater feelings of happiness than those who view religion as less important, new research from Gallup has found. The researchers reached this conclusion in countries they classified as “highly religious,” “moderately religious,” and “somewhat religious.”
In only four countries – all in Europe – the institute, which published the results of the study this week, found the opposite result: surveys in the UK, France, Spain and Luxembourg found that non-religious people had greater well-being.
The researchers used two indicators in their study: with questions such as “Do you feel comfortable?” or “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?”, they calculated a value representing positive experiences in the daily lives of survey participants. While religious people in all other countries scored higher here, this was not the case in the four European countries.
Positive experiences and social life
In less religious countries, where less than 65% of the population considers religion an important part of their daily lives, religious people scored 70.8 out of 100, compared to 70.2 for non-religious people. In the Grand Duchy, religious people get 73.7 points for positive experiences, while non-religious people get 76.
The second indicator, which represents satisfaction with social life, shows a similar trend. In less religious countries, participants for whom religion played a major role scored 83.4 compared to 83.2 for non-religious people, while in Luxembourg the non-religious scored 85.8 compared to 83.4 for religious people.
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Another finding of the survey indicates that people in less religious countries place a higher value on positive experiences than people in more religious countries. The research also found that people living in less religious countries are less likely to feel they are ‘suffering’ and more likely to believe they are ‘doing well’.
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