While there is a strong and proven correlation between education and income, it’s harder to know whether there also is a link between religion and wealth. What we can say is that members of some religious groups – not to mention atheists and agnostics – on average have a higher household income than others and those in the richest religious groups also tend, on average, to be better educated than most Americans.
About nine in 10 Americans say they believe in God, and one in 10 say they do not. However, when presented with more than a “yes or no” option, about eight in 10 say they believe and one in 10 say they aren’t sure. Belief in God, regardless of how the question is phrased to Americans, is down from levels in past decades.
Poll respondents who have no religious affiliation are the most likely to think that science and religion, in general, are often in conflict, with 76% expressing this view. But just one-in-six religiously unaffiliated adults (16%) say their own religious beliefs conflict with science. (Those who are religiously unaffiliated often have supernatural beliefs and spiritual practices, even though they say they do not feel connected to a particular religion. Only about a third of the unaffiliated say they are atheist or agnostic; most describe their religion as “nothing in particular.”)
Are faith and belief in evolution necessarily at odds? According to Pope Francis, the answer is no. Indeed, the pope recently reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s view that “evolution in nature is not inconsistent” with church teaching on creation, pushing the debate on human origins back into the news.
Although most U.S. Catholics accept the idea of evolution in some form, a substantial percentage of American adults reject the scientific explanation for the origins of human life, and a number of religious groups in the U.S. maintain that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection is not correct because it conflicts with their views of creation.