The Religious Landscape of US
Ultimately it’s public. The people of USA are getting more and more secular, atheist and non-religious. The recent Pew global survey is one of the pointers towards that. I would suggest everybody to read at least the summary of key findings of the report. One of the major conclusions it had is that 28% of Americans left their faith or in other word – got ‘converted’. And the rise of the non-religious is noted:
“Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion.”
That’s why the books like “The God Delusion” can make it to the top of the list so easily. I strongly consider it as a positive conversion. If one looks at the list closely, the list of “Unaffiliated” in US has 16.1% of its population – for a further breakdown, it has 1.6% of Atheists, 2.4% of Agnostics and a bigger pie of Secular 6.3% and purely unaffiliated 5.8%. All of these 16% are not only from higher earners – but from all sections of society. That’s where it’s really interesting. To conclude with the converts, I would recommend one of the key findings:
“In sharp contrast to Islam and Hinduism, Buddhism in the U.S. is primarily made up of native-born adherents, whites and converts. Only one-in-three American Buddhists describe their race as Asian, while nearly three-in-four Buddhists say they are converts to Buddhism. ”
I have often said the same, but I never really thought I will have so many compatriots. If I have to born again and if I have to take a religion – I would take Buddhism. I do love Buddha’s teachings and so are so many Americans. It’s really a pleasant feeling. So, its official – most of the Christian converts adopts Buddhism – if they at all take another religion.
In the area of comparison, the interesting point to be noted is the educational profile of the population. And again it’s official that Hindus are most educated among the different religious groups in USA. 74% of Hindu population has at least a graduate degree and 48% has post-graduation. The root of the fact is in the migration pattern. Indians are the primary source of Hindus in USA. And, Indians can migrate to USA through a single channel – education. USA doesn’t allow Indians to enter in USA via what they call a diversity visa program. Hence, Indians either enter via H1B visa as a skilled worker or as a graduate/post-graduate student – making it tough to find non-educated Indians in USA. The only non-educated section is from spouses of these migrants and some Canadian migrants. The income comparison also shows up positively biased towards Indians/Hindus. 43% of Hindus actually earn more than 100 thousand dollars a year (somewhat more than I do). Only Jews are ahead in the race, that too by 3%. I believe Indians will catch them up sooner or later.
The bad thing that comes up in the comparison is that Hindus (Indians also) has a 61-39 gender ratio. I hope this has been created by means of migration pattern and not due to gender discrimination. A lot of Hindu Indians come and settle in USA and marry somebody from the locals. Since most of the migrants are actually male due to the discrimination back in India, the ratio maintains itself in USA. But if it is due to the sex-determination of fetus, they are waiting for gloomy days.