Study: Religion can affect your soul — and your wallet

Religion may not only save your soul, according to a new book, but could also have a real impact on your financial well-being.

Religion News Service says

New research from “Faith and Money: How Religion Contributes to Wealth and Poverty” suggests that mainline Protestants, white Catholics and Jews are more likely to have high levels of financial wealth.

Evangelical and black Protestants, meanwhile, and Hispanic Catholics are generally below the nation’s median net worth, but are more inclined to donate money to religious causes.

The bottom line: access to education, higher paying jobs and marital status all make a difference, and vary tremendously across faith groups. […]

According to the study, Jews and mainline Protestants are most likely to have earlier access to financial assets, while black and evangelical Protestants are most likely to be permanently asset-poor.

Author Lisa A. Keister, a sociologist at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and director of the school’s Markets and Management Studies program, said “religion is the key factor” impacting financial wealth because it influences life opportunities and decisions that impact wealth.

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This post was last updated: Oct. 12, 2011