Monday, 9 December 2013

Social science of US Mormons


My original interest in Mormonism came from reading loads of social science statistics in the mid-2000s, including quant bloggers - especially in relation to fertility; but also much more widely.

My impression is that these findings are not only not-well-known outside of the LDS church, but people often believe the opposite.

So, I thought I'd mention a summary of the social science findings culled from  American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us by Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell (2010) and posted on the official LDS website (H/T - Daniel C Peterson):

I haven't checked this news report against the book - but the report of the book is consistent with the mass of social science stats I have myself reviewed over the years.

1. Mormons are among the most devout religious groups in the country.
(In terms of religious observance, strength of their religious convictions, and degree of personal importance of religion.) 

2. Mormons are among those most likely to keep their childhood faith as adults.

3. Mormons are unusually giving.
(Mormons are among the most charitable of Americans with their means and time, in religious and nonreligious causes).

4. Mormons are relatively friendly to other religious groups.
(Mormons are among those viewed least positively by many American religious groups, but themselves hold relatively positive views toward members of other faiths.)

5. Mormons are among the most likely to believe that one true religion exists, but also that those outside their faith can attain salvation or reach “heaven.”