Hindus in US are affluent, educated, socially stable

June 24th, 2008 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, June 24 (IANS) Hindus, who comprise only 0.4 percent of the US population, are a highly educated and prosperous community, according to a new religion-wise survey in the country. Nearly 43 percent of Hindus earned more than $100,000 a year, second only to the Jews who boast 46 percent in this income bracket, while the national average is 18 percent.

Another 22 percent Hindus had annual incomes between $75,000 and $100,000, and only 9 percent made less than $30,000, according to the survey the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reported Monday.

The high income levels of Hindus correlate well with their high educational levels. About half of them hold postgraduate degrees and a quarter have some college degree. In this respect, they score better than even Jews, who have only 35 percent with postgraduate degrees and 24 percent with college degrees.

Hindus in the US also show high social stability, with 79 percent being married, and only 5 percent reporting divorced or separated, and none saying they are living with partner out of marriage.

Sixty one percent of the Hindu population in the country is male, in keeping with the universal trend of men migrating first to another country.

Fifty seven percent of the 220 Hindus in the Pew survey sample believed in god or universal spirit, and only 5 percent said they were atheists. Almost 90 percent said many religions can lead to eternal life, showing high levels of tolerance, in fact the highest among all faith communities. The national average for religious tolerance is not bad either at 70 percent on this count.

As in India, Hindus constitute a majority among Indian Americans.

According to the 2000 census figures, Indian Americans number 2.7 million. Over a million of them are Hindus.

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