Religion

Report: Christians Less Educated Than Other Religions

| by Michael Allen

A new report says that U.S. Christians are generally less educated than religious minorities when it comes to postsecondary education.

The Pew Research Center reviewed data from 2010, and found that only 36 percent of Christians had gone to college or vocational school, notes The New York Times.

The research also found that Jews were more likely to have earned a postsecondary degree than Christians by more than a 2-to-1 margin, while Hindus led Christians by almost 3 to 1. Additionally, the religiously unaffiliated, Muslims, and Buddhists were more likely to have graduated from college than Christians.

According to researcher Conrad Hackett, Christians in North America spent an average of 12.7 years in school, while Christians around the world spent an average of 9.3 years.

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"There are other countries where Christians are more likely to have a postsecondary degree, but the United States stacks up quite well in that regard," Hackett told the newspaper. "It’s just that these minority populations are really quite exceptional."

Hackett said that nonreligious people in the U.S. are usually more educated than religious people.

"The higher the level of education in a country, the larger the share of people with no religion tends to be," Hackett stated. "Atheists and agnostics, or people with no religion in particular, have higher education levels than the religiously affiliated do in the U.S."

The Pew Research Center also noted the global numbers:

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At present, Jewish adults (ages 25 and older) have a global average of 13 years of formal schooling, compared with approximately nine years among Christians, eight years among Buddhists and six years among Muslims and Hindus. Religiously unaffiliated adults – those who describe their religion as atheist, agnostic or "nothing in particular" – have spent an average of nine years in school, a little less than Christian adults worldwide.

Evangelist Franklin Graham seemed to unintentionally confirm the findings during an interview with CNN Dec. 13 when he said unemployed workers don't want to be retrained as computer programmers:

I live in North Carolina where so much of our manufacturing base has gone to other countries. And people are out of jobs, are out of work. And they say, "But we’ll retrain you, we’ll let you be a computer programmer."

They don’t want to be a computer programmer. They want to do the same job as their fathers and their grandfathers. There was pride in the manufacturing and the building. And we’ve taken all that away and it’s sad.

Sources: The New York Times, Pew Research Center, CNN via YouTube / Photo credit: Kit/Flickr

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