the shape of leadership

People of Faith Are Less Lonely

Study reveals higher levels of social connection

Influence Magazine on February 19, 2019

People of faith are less lonely than others, a new survey suggests.

Among U.S. adults who say religious faith is central or very important in their lives, 46 percent indicate they never feel completely alone, according to the “Survey on Community and Society” from American Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit educational organization in Washington, D.C. By comparison, just 38 percent of those who say religious faith is unimportant never feel alone.

Similarly, 37 percent of religious respondents say they never feel isolated from others, versus 25 percent of those for whom faith is not important.

More than half of respondents said their place of worship gave them a sense of community.

In addition, 78 percent of religious respondents were socially connected, compared to 64 percent of others. (Researchers measured social connectedness using a series of questions regarding relationships and loneliness.)

Regular attenders of religious services and other church-related activities were significantly more socially connected than those who attended infrequently or not at all.

However, just 23 percent of respondents said churches and other places of worship play a major role in making their communities successful. People had a more favorable view of local schools (with 54 percent saying schools play a big role in making their communities successful); libraries (54 percent); parks (45 percent); and restaurants and entertainment (44 percent).

More than half of respondents (54 percent) said their place of worship gave them either a “strong sense of community” or “some sense of community.” However, this was only slightly larger than the share who said this about the people and groups on social media (49 percent).


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