Worshippers at a mosque in Somalia, where 98% of people said religion was very important to them. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Pew's study on religion around the world shows significant generation gaps, with younger people less likely to consider religion a very important part of their lives.

The flipside: Populations are growing fastest in countries that tend to be very religious (particularly in sub-Saharan Africa) and shrinking in some of the world’s least religious countries (Japan, Eastern Europe). Thus, the authors write, “it is not necessarily the case that the world’s population, overall, is becoming less religious.”

  • The U.S. is right at the global average, with 53% of people considering religion a very important part of their lives. It is also a massive outlier: Every other country among the world’s wealthiest is far less religious. Compare: Canada (27%), U.K./Germany/Japan (all 10%), Israel (36%).
  • Religious observance tends to be higher in countries with lower levels of education and higher levels of income inequality. “Regardless of how religious commitment or prosperity are measured, the general pattern holds: Religious commitment is lower in places where life is easier.”

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden has huge cash advantage over Trump as Election Day nears

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had $177.3 million in the bank at the end of September, per the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

Why it matters: President Trump's re-election campaign reported having $63.1 million in the bank at the end of last month, as campaigning enters the final stretch ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.

Court allows North Carolina mail-in ballots deadline extension

An absentee ballot election worker stuffs ballot applications at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina can accept absentee ballots that are postmarked Nov. 3, Election Day, until Nov. 12, a federal appeals court decided Tuesday in a 12-3 majority ruling.

Why it matters: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling against state and national Republican leaders settles a lawsuit brought by a group representing retirees, and it could see scores of additional votes counted in the key battleground state.