Sunday, May 15, 2011

Religion-Income Link is Not Just From Education

A new Pew study of religion and class shows an almost direct line between education and income.  The denominations with the highest average income - Reform Jews, Hindus, and Conservative Jews - also have the highest level of education.  Two-thirds of Reform Jewish households make more than $75,000 per year.  The median income of a household of four is $50,000.

David Leonhardt, in the New York Times article on this study,  rightly notes the education/income link.  He wonders why the secularists and Unitarians, who have high levels of education, do not have household incomes to match. 

I have a hypothesis: secularists and Unitarians have a high unmarried rate.  Secularists tend to be younger than other religious groups, and less likely to have married yet.  Unitarians have a high fraction who changed religions, often after a divorce.  Both of these conditions reduce household income compared to other religious groups, which are more married.

1 comment:

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

I'd say it's also safe to say that the cultures of secularists and Unitarians are more prone to pursuing careers in lower paying jobs.