On link between religiosity and well-being, India is an outlier
SummaryReligiosity rose in 2019 and 2020 relative to 2018, presumably in reaction to an unrelenting pursuit of Hindutva in the country.
If recent evidence is to be believed, as reviewed in a recent essay in The Guardian, ‘Beyond beliefs: Does religious faith lead to a happier, healthier life?’, religiosity (such as regular attendance of church, temples, mosques, synagogues and various other religious beliefs and activities) is indeed a panacea for happiness or subjective well-being (used interchangeably with life satisfaction). The evidence comes from multiple disciplines—like medicine, psychology, sociology and economics—and sources that are global, regional and country specific. Notable examples are World Values Surveys and Gallup World Poll surveys. A sample of evidence suggests that religiosity is associated with better health, lower risk of depression, anxiety and suicide, and reduced cardiovascular disease and death from cancer. An examination of 1,000 obituaries in the US revealed that people marked by their faith lived for 5.6 years more, on average, than those whose religion had not been recorded. It is suggested that people of faith live healthier lives than the non-religious, as studies show that churchgoers are less likely to smoke, drink, take drugs or practise unsafe sex than people who do not attend such services regularly (there are, of course, notable exceptions).