Religion in Society

Most Americans Unconcerned About End of the World

| by Baptist Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) --- Despite any popular doomsday predictions, most Americans aren't concerned that the end of the world will occur in their lifetimes, according to a new study by LifeWay Research.

Only 11 percent of 1,600 people who participated in a survey on the topic said they agree with statement, "I believe that the world will end in my lifetime," the division of LifeWay Christian Resources said in the LifeWay Research Insights newsletter Feb. 3.

"Many religions predict a time when the world will end, be recreated or experience some cataclysmic transition," Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, said. "For others, that is not a religious issue but based on concerns from the environment to nuclear war. However, the belief that 'the end is near' is not that widespread, with a strong majority disagreeing with the statement."

The study found that Americans with higher incomes are less likely to believe the world will end soon: 71 percent of people making $100,000 or more disagree that the world will end in their lifetimes. Meanwhile, 53 percent of those making $25,000 or less disagree with the scenario, while 15 percent agree.

LifeWay Research found that 10 percent of married people agree that the world will end in their lifetimes compared with 14 percent of singles and 13 percent of those living with their partners.

Older Americans are more skeptical than any other age group that the world will end before they die, LifeWay Research said, noting that 71 percent of those 65 and older disagree with the idea.

Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are more likely than any other group to agree that the world might end while they are still living. Only 50 percent of those surveyed disagree that the end of the world will come in their lifetimes while 17 percent agree.

Men are more skeptical than women about the world ending in their lifetimes, 69 percent compared to 51 percent, LifeWay Research said. Also, those with more formal education are more skeptical of the idea. When race is considered, African Americans are most likely to believe the world will end in their lifetimes, according to the study.

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