Are Religious People Happier? #94
The effects of religion on happiness
Life with religion
Does God make people happy? Are religious people more satisfied with their lives than those who don’t believe in God? And are religious countries happier than more secular ones?
Out of 7 people on Earth today, 6 belong to some kind of religious community. Earth’s population currently is about 7 billion, of which (according to Wikipedia) 2.2 billion are Christians, 1.6 billion Muslims, 1 billion Hindus, 400 million Chinese traditional religion adherents, 375 million Buddhists, and another 500 million are distributed among various smaller religions. This leaves only about 1 billion people who don’t believe in some kind of God. So when we talk about happiness, we cannot ignore religion, since it is an important part of the lives of the majority of humans on Earth.
For our purposes here, it doesn’t matter what religion we are talking about. The effects of religion on happiness are clear enough and similar for most world religions. For examples, I will use Christianity, since this is the religion the readers of this page will probably be most familiar with; but similar principles apply to other religions.