Americans filled with spirit, survey finds

In these times of crisis—political, economic, and emotional—Americans have shown a remarkable commitment to faith and spirituality, according to a new study from researchers at Penn, the Gallup Organization and the George H. Gallup International Institute.

The “Spiritual State of the Union” was produced by the Center for Research on Religion and Civil Society (CRRUCS), one of ten centers established in the past three years by the Pew Charitable Trusts to bring a systematic and scientific approach to the study of religion. Initial findings indicate that 97 percent of Americans consider themselves religious or spiritual, and 75 percent believe that America’s overall well-being is highly dependent upon the spiritual health of the nation.

Among other surprising results discovered by the survey: 60 percent of Americans believe that spirituality is involved in every aspect of their lives, 70 percent state that their lives have meaning and purpose because of their faith, and only 13 percent claim to have no religious tradition at all.

The CRRUCS/Gallup Spiritual Index surveyed 1,509 adults in June. The study can be repeated on a regular basis to monitor changes and trends emerging in the nation’s spirituality, and will provide national norms which individuals and groups can measure themselves against. It also will reveal how inner spirituality affects service to others, and if religious convictions act as a change agent in society

CRRUCS plans to issue the report yearly to coincide with the presidential State of the Union address. “This is an important part of American life, and should be considered by the nation amidst talk of economics, domestic policy and the state of the world,” said Johnson..

Originally published on April 3, 2003