Is religion good for you? The answer is complicated, new global Gallup report finds.

by | Oct 10, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — A new report from Gallup finds that religious people around the world report being more positive, have more social support, and are more involved in their communities than those who are not religious.The study, based on 10 years of data, also finds the well-being of religious people varies from country to country and is often hard to measure. Even if researchers find that religion is good for you, people who are not religious may not care about its benefits or want anything to do with it.
“Gallup World Poll data from 2012-2022 find, on a number of wellbeing measures, that people who are religious have better wellbeing than people who are not,” according to the report, which was published Tuesday (Oct. 10).
The study included data about nine aspects of people’s lives, from their positive interactions with others and their social life to their civic engagement and physical health. Each of the nine indexes included a score of 0 to 100, based on answers to a series of questions.
For the positive experience index, respondents were asked questions such as “Did you smile or laugh today?” and “Were you treated with respect?” For civic engagement, they were asked questions about whether they gave to charity or helped a stranger. The physical health index asked if they had health issues that kept them from doing things people their age usually do and whether they were in physical pain. For community basics, they were asked about housing …

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