The determinants of religiosity among immigrants and the native born in Europe
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This paper examines differences in religious behaviors of the native born and immigrants in European countries, measured by self-reported religiosity, frequency of praying, and frequency of church attendance. Using the European Social Survey, we first show that, on average, the religiosity of immigrants is greater than that of the native born and is greater than that of the stayers in the European origins, even among those who report they have no religious affiliation. Hypotheses are tested that can explain these observations. Differences in individual characteristics, such as age, education, income, marital status, and notably religious denominations, partly account for the overall differences. Religiosity of migrants declines with duration in the destination, approaching the levels of both the native born in destination countries and of the stayers in European origin countries. Both origin and destination country characteristics affect religiosity, such as economic development, religious pluralism, religious freedom, and societal attitudes towards religion, suggesting that both economic and culture persistence and adaptation take place.
KeywordsEconomics of religion Religiosity Immigrants Secularization Culture Integration
JEL ClassificationF22 N3 Z12
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