Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience
Across the world, people have varying levels of belief (and disbelief) in God, with some nations being more devout than others. But new research reveals one constant across parts of the globe: As people age, their belief in God seems to increase.
The new study is based on data collected as part of the General Social Survey by researchers at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.
The researchers looked at data from 30 countries where surveys, taken at two or more time points between 1991 and 2008, asked residents about their belief in God. Participants answered three main “belief” questions, including their level of belief (from strong to atheistic), their changing beliefs over their lifetime and their attitude toward the notion that God is concerned with their personal lives.
Age seemed to be a big factor in belief. Belief in God was highest among older adults, with 43 percent of those 68 and older saying they are certain that God exists, compared with 23 percent of those 27 and younger, averaged across the countries surveyed.