The Shmooze

Jews Rank Highest on Well-Being Index

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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There’s a Yiddish saying, “It’s hard to be a Jew.” But according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Jews enjoy the highest well-being of all religious groups.

The research shows that the most religious members of all American religious groups have the highest well-being. Very religious Jews lead the way at 72.4%, with very religious Mormons close behind at 71.5%. However, there is a significant drop off in well-being level between very religious Mormons and less religious ones. Jews, on the other hand show a very small difference between the very religious, moderately religious and the non-religious.

Gallup included a number of different sub-indices in the research:

Analyzing the six well-being sub-indexes reveals the areas in which certain groups excel and others fall behind. Jews score proportionately higher on the Basic Access sub-index. Muslims score higher on the Life Evaluation and Physical Health Indexes, compared with the other faiths. Protestants, on the other hand, score lowest on the Life Evaluation Index and the Physical Health Index, compared with the other faith groups.

Not surprising to those who follow American Jewish demographic trends, Jews do not score as high up on religious intensity as they do on well-being. Whereas 73.4% of Mormons, 50.8% of Protestants, 46.9% of Muslims, and 43.7% of Roman Catholics identify as very religious, only 16.9% of Jews do so.

But religious or not so religious, the Jews are all right. Or so the numbers tell us, at least.


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