Hispanics more religious, not that zealous

By Razib Khan | August 31, 2009 4:14 am

A few months ago I pointed out that minorities don’t oppose gay marriage, blacks do. Specifically, there are sometimes assumptions that Hispanics are extremely religious Roman Catholics characterized by very socially conservative views. From what I have seen the data are of much more modest magnitude than what characterizations would suggest, but I thought it would be useful to put some numbers from the General Social Survey up. The years are from 2000-2008, when the “Hispanic” variable was being collected. First I separated into three categories, Non-Hispanics who were not black, which was a 95% white and 5% Asian sample. Then Hispanics (who were 1/3 white and 2/3 “Other”) and finally, blacks. Second, I decided to look at Non-Hispanic vs. Hispanic Roman Catholics. In this sample of Hispanics 2/3 were Roman Catholics.

Non-Hispanic – 95% White, 5% Asian Hispanic Black
No Religion 16.1 11.7 10.6
Know God Exists 57.7 72.6 83.6
Bible Word of God 27.9 40.2 56.4
Inspired Word 51.9 44.4 33.4
Book of Fables 18.3 13.5 8.6
Human Beings Developed From Animals 53.5 48.7 33.8
Approve Banning School Sanctioned Prayer From Bible 43.7 42.8 22.2
Never Attend Church 21.5 17.7 12.7
Every Week 17.9 17.9 21.1
More than Once A week 7 5.4 12.9
Definitely Believe in Hell 49.6 52.4 66.5
Yes – Abortion on Demand 41.6 30 37
Homosexual Sex Always Wrong 53 58 74.5
Catholics Only
Know God Exists 59.4 74
Bible Word of God 15.8 37.4
Inspired Word 70.3 49.8
Book of Fables 12.8 11.5
Human Beings Developed From Animals 65.5 57.1
Approve Banning School Sanctioned Prayer From Bible 41.9 40.3
Never Attend Church 11.9 11.9
Every Week 26.9 19.3
More than Once A week 3.5 2.4
Definitely Believe in Hell 45.3 47.7
Yes – Abortion on Demand 37 27.1
Homosexual Sex Always Wrong 48.6 58.4

Hispanics are somewhat more religious than the median American, but the data are spotty in arguing for a strong distinction. The main issue where a noticeable difference crops up is on the question of abortion, which is probably a cultural issue since many Hispanics and/or their families are of recent origin from nations where abortion is illegal.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com


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