Thursday, November 13, 2014

Religion in Latin America

Pew Research has a bunch of thought-provoking polling data on religion in Latin America. There are plenty of political implications as well, though at this point we can only really speculate on them. Some highlights:

--Only 69% of Latin Americans are Catholic
--19% are Protestant
--8% are unaffiliated

Here is the trend over time:

What implications?

--Protestants are more conservative on social issues than Catholics, while unaffiliated are less so. This will likely lead to more tension on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, etc.

The growth of "unaffiliated" is intriguing:

I wonder why we see it in some countries and not others? It's amazingly high in Uruguay, which corresponds as well to the more permissive social environment we see there. What's going on in the Dominican Republic?

On the other hand, Mexico remains very Catholic in comparative terms, yet we also see political support for more liberal social policy. That may correspond to urban versus rural divides. That in fact explains a lot here in North Carolina along the same lines!


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