A new study finds that religious groups in America contribute $1.2 trillion to the national economy, much of it in charitable services, which would be enough to make U.S. religion the 15th largest economy in the world.
In his commentary on this study, Crux Contributor Christopher White writes:
The notion that religion is antiquated, declining, and at worst, oppressive, seems to dominate much of our public discourse.
But a major new study just released in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion evidences that the country has never been more dependent on the contributions of people of faith to society, particularly from a socio-economic perspective.
According to findings from Brian and Melissa Grim, “religion in the United States today contributes $1.2 trillion each year to our economy and society.”
Impressively, this figure is more than the top ten tech companies combined-including Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Or, put in another perspective, if that figure was measured in GDP, U.S. religion would be the 15th largest national economy in the world.
These contributions range from general philanthropy to educational services to healthcare-and all stem from one of the shared central tenet’s of all major faith traditions: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.