Polling on religion and drinking in the US

www.christianpost.com | 8/17/2019 | Staff
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Americans who attend religious services weekly are less likely than others to drink alcohol, reflecting the centuries-old connection in American history between religion and the perceived immorality of drinking.

Colleague - Lydia - Saad - Review - Gallup

As my colleague Lydia Saad recently pointed out in her annual review of Gallup's trends on drinking, the percentage of Americans in general who say they "have occasion to use alcohol" has remained remarkably steady over the years that Gallup has tracked the measure. The percentage of U.S. adults (aged 18 and older) who say they consume alcohol has averaged 63% since Gallup first asked the question in 1939 and is at 65% this year.

That leaves 34% who say they are total abstainers, roughly the same as the average of 36.5% measured since 1939. Being a total abstainer (or a "teetotaler," the colorful term that originated in the temperance movement to describe those who don't drink any alcoholic beverages) varies modestly by a number of traditional demographic variables. Older adults, women, those with lower levels of education, blacks and Hispanics are more likely than others to abstain.

Predictors - Drinking - Alcohol - Interest - Column

But one of the most significant predictors of drinking alcohol, and my interest in this column, is religion. Using an aggregate of our last six years of asking Americans about their drinking habits, we find a basic inverse linear relationship between drinking and church attendance. Those who attend weekly -- the devoutly religious -- are clearly in a class of their own when it comes to abstention. Half of this group are total abstainers, well above the national average and particularly higher than the 29% who are total abstainers among those who never attend church.

Also, among the group of Americans who admit to drinking at least occasionally, highly religious Americans drink less frequently and are less likely to report drinking too...
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