Americans and Canadians lie about church attendance

Surveys in the US and Canada, amongst other countries, are flawed because Americans and Canadians lie about church attendance, as demonstrated by time use studies.

We’re used to hearing that America is an exceptional nation when it comes to religion. Certainly, the hold that religion has over public life is unparalleled among wealthy nations, and most Americans readily tell pollsters that they are dutifully religious.

But it seems that American religiosity might also be exceptional for quite another reason. It turns out that the gap between what they tell pollsters and what they actually do is bigger than for any other nation.

He found that Americans say they go to Church about twice as often as they actually do. That’s pretty similar to what has been found in other studies.

In other countries, however, the gap was much smaller – in fact, for many of them, it was non-existent (the bar chart only shows the worst offenders). It’s not a recent phenomenon either.

3 thoughts on “Americans and Canadians lie about church attendance

  1. bloggerclarissa May 25, 2011 at 21:10

    This is not surprising. People are practically bullied into going to church here in the US, so people start feeling guilty about not going and lie. You should see the reaction when I tell colleagues and acquaintances that I never go to church. It’s almost like I confess to beating up feeble old ladies for fun. Of course, I haven’t started lying about it and inventing non-existent trips to the church but I do understand why some people might want to.

  2. […] François  Tremblay‘s blog, I found this curious report about the striking numbers of people in Canada and the US […]

  3. […] – Americans don’t go to church as often as they say they do. Reported attendance beats actual attendance everywhere, but most sizeably in the US – and, oddly, Canada. (via Check Your Premises) […]

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