Income and Religion: Jews and Hindus Richest

Good magazine and Column Five collaborated to put together this chart of income distribution among various religious groups in the United States.


Few of you will be shocked to see that Jews do the best, with 46% making over $100,000 a year and 75% making over $50,000.   Perhaps more surprising is that Hindus come in a close second, with 43% making over $100,000 and 80% making over $50,000.   Indeed, one can argue that Hindus are actually more prosperous than Jews, since a far smaller percentage are in the very low brackets.

No other religious grouping — including non-believers — tops 30% in the top bracket and only the Orthodox, with 28%, top a quarter in that bracket.

By contrast, Historically Black Christian churches and Jehovah’s Witnesses are by far the poorer, with nearly 75% making under $50,000 a year.

Of course, religion here is almost certainly proxy for ethnicity, not an explanatory variable.   Presumably, a more detailed analysis would show that Jews and Hindu (i.e., Americans who are Indian immigrants or trace their recent family history to India) tend to be well educated and go into fields that pay well.

via Andrew Sullivan

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.