Journal Article

Religious Independents within Western Industrialized Nations: A Socio-Demographic Profile

Bernadette C. Hayes

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 61, issue 2, pages 191-207
Published in print January 2000 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2000 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
Religious Independents within Western Industrialized Nations: A Socio-Demographic Profile

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As of yet, relatively little information exists within Western industrialized nations regarding religious independents, or individuals who claim no religious affiliation. This is particularly the case when countries besides the United States and Canada are considered. Mindful of this omission, this study uses recent nationally representative survey data to compare the religious convictions and socio-demographic background of religious independents versus religious affiliates in the United States and across nine Western European nations. The results suggest that religious independents may be considered a distinct group at least as far as these ten Western nations are concerned. As in previous North American research, not only are religious independents notably more likely to eschew a religious conviction than their religiously affiliated colleagues, but they are also significantly more likely to be young, male, non-married, and well-educated. Of these various characteristics, however, it is differences in terms of gender which stand out as die most notable and consistent discriminator across nations.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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