Speed Reads

a study on studies

Study finds Christians in the U.S. tend to be less educated than Hindus, Jews, and Muslims

A study published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center revealed that in the U.S., Hindus are nearly three times more likely than Christians to have attended college or vocational school. An analysis of data collected in 2010 revealed a surprising gap in education between Christians and religious minorities, with Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, and the religiously unaffiliated more likely than Christians to have obtained a postsecondary degree. Of the 267 million Christians in the U.S. in 2010, only 36 percent had gone on to receive a postsecondary education.

More than anything, the study says, the findings are reflective of the country's immigration policies. Lead researcher Conrad Hackett explained the gap is "largely a byproduct of immigration policies that favor highly educated and highly skilled applicants who have the financial means to set up life in a new country," The New York Times reported. While just 14 percent of Christians were born abroad, an estimated 87 percent of Hindus were.

In European countries, where immigrants in recent years have primarily been "refugees or low-skilled migrants," Christians or majority religious groups tended to be more educated than minority religious groups. On average worldwide, Christians attend school for 9.3 years, while Hindus and Muslims attend an average of 5.6 years. Jews are the world's most educated religious group, attending school for an average of 13.4 years.