Data from the ARDA National Profiles, 2005 Update: Religion Indexes, Adherents and Other Data

Data Archive > International Surveys and Data > Cross-National > Summary


This file assembles data from multiple sources, but many of the measures are from the ARDAís coding of the 2003 US State Departmentís International Religious Freedom Reports. This coding produced data on 195 different countries and territories (see Grim and Finke 2006 for a list of countries coded), but excluded the United States. Additional data on religious regulation and favoritism in the smaller countries not covered by the State Department Reports were provided by researchers at the World Christian Database. In addition, this project assembled (with permission) other cross-national measures of interest to researchers on religion, economics, and politics. They include adherent information from the World Christian Database, scales from Freedom House and the Heritage Foundation, and various socio-economic measures from the United Nations. Measures for religious persecution (AESTIMA) and ethnic identity (DETHNIC) were added to this file in August 2007.

(Note: This dataset was previously available for download under the title "Cross-National Data: Religion Indexes, Religious Adherents, and Other Data.")

Data File
Cases: 247
Variables: 108
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: December 2003 - December 2005
Funded By
The John Templeton Foundation
Collection Procedures
Many of the measures in this file are based on the 2003 US State Departmentís International Religious Freedom Reports. Under the direction of Brian Grim, the ARDAís Project Manager for International Data, these reports were assigned quantitative measures by using a coding instrument, essentially a survey questionnaire. Although the most immediate goal was to develop measures for religious regulation and favoritism, the coding took advantage of the vast trove of information in the reports. The questions included measures for specific acts of discrimination, prejudice, persecution, warfare, property rights, forced migration, and other acts that might (or might not) be related to the religious life of the country. For all variables, the coders were asked to make substantive observations of the qualitative data and to base their codes on empirical observations of actions or patterns of behavior that were documented in the reports. For a fuller description of the coding procedures, see Grim and Finke (2006).
Sampling Procedures
Primary data come from the coding of the 195 countries covered by the US State Department International Religious Freedom Reports.
Principal Investigators
The Association of Religion Data Archives
Roger Finke, Director
Brian J. Grim, Project Manager for International Data
Related Publications
Grim, Brian J. and Roger Finke (2006). "International Religion Indexes: Government Regulation, Government Favoritism, and Social Regulation of Religion." Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion 2 (Article 1). http://www.religjournal.com/
Contact for more Information
Brian J. Grim, bgrim@pewforum.org
Additional Information on Selected Variables
Sources and descriptions of variables:

Variables 38-105 are measures coded from the 2003 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Reports http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/

What is the land area in sq. miles? (US State Department)
GRI: Government Regulation of religion Index (Grim and Finke, 2006): Scale 0-10, low is less regulation
Does the Government interfere with an individual's right to worship? (Grim and Finke 2006)
How is freedom of religion described? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the government generally respect the right to freedom of religion in practice? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the government policy contribute to the generally free practice of religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Are foreign and other missionaries allowed to operate? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Is proselytizing, public preaching, or conversion limited or restricted? (Grim and Finke 2006)
GFI: Government favoritism of religion index (Grim and Finke, 2006): Scale 0-10, low is less regulation
Does the government fund some things related to religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
To what extent is there a favored (or established) religious brand? (Grim and Finke 2006)
How does the government subsidize (incl. in-kind) religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
What is the nature of government funding to the religious sector? (Grim and Finke 2006)
[fundex.s] Government Funding of Religion Index (0-12: schools, buildings, clergy, media, charity, religious work) (Grim and Finke 2006): Scale 0-12, low is less funding
Does the government fund religious education? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the government fund religious buildings? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the government fund clergy salary or benefits? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the government fund religious print or broadcast media? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the government fund religious charity or public service work? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the government fund religious practice or mission work? (Grim and Finke 2006)
SRI: Social regulation of religion index (Grim and Finke, 2006): Scale 0-10, low is less regulation
Societal attitudes toward other or nontraditional religions are reported to be _________. (Grim and Finke 2006)
What are social attitudes towards conversions to other religions? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Do traditional attitudes and/or edicts of the clerical establishment strongly discourage proselytizing (trying to win converts)? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Do established or existing religions try to shut out new religions in any way? (Grim and Finke 2006)
What is the situation regarding social movements in relation to religious brands in the country? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Is there a constitution? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the government generally respect the right to freedom of religion in practice? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Are the relationships among religions in society generally amicable? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Was there a change in the status of respect for religious freedom? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the US government discuss religious freedom issues with the government? (Grim and Finke 2006)
What is mentioned about social tensions? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Do people face hassles if they do not belong to the dominant religion of the country? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Were there any land or property disputes? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Were there any religiously-related land or property disputes? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the report say the government promotes interfaith understanding? (Grim and Finke 2006)
What is the nature of government or public holidays? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the government require religions to register? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Is religious literature or broadcasting limited or restricted? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Do laws take into account a person's religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
According to the report, are there laws regulating daily life based on (biased towards) religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Is there a Concordat with the Vatican? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Is blasphemy prohibited by law? (Grim and Finke 2006)
According to the report, does it say there were reports of religious prisoners or detainees? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Are people, based on religious identity or activity, discriminated against? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Are people put into prison based on religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the state (i.e. government) defer to religious authorities on life issues? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Are allegations reported of discrimination in education, housing and/or employment based on religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
When a person sells or buys land or property, do laws or practices benefit or discriminate based on religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Do legal rights of males and females have anything to do with religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Do divorce rights and/or adultery's legal status have anything to do with religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Has there been any harassment of minority religious groups? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Is there a government bureau that supervises religions? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Do government or security authorities harass or allow harassment based on religious brand? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Is an improvement reported? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Were there any reports of forced religious conversion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Where there any reports of US minors being moved or held illegally due to religion? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Are there activities reported that promote tolerance and understanding between adherents of different religions? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Are social movements reported that have religious agendas? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Are tensions related to religion reported? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Are or have women been harassed for immodest dress? (Grim and Finke 2006)
According to the report, is there an organized interfaith dialog? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the report mention cases of vandalism towards religious properties or cemeteries by citizens? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the report mention cases of bombing towards religious properties or cemeteries by citizens? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Are certain parts of the country or its cities strongly associated with certain religions? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Does the report mention that societal discrimination is more likely to be based upon ethnic bias than upon religious prejudice? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Were there reports of derogatory graffiti being put on religious properties? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Were there any hunts for 'witches' or others who were identified as being possessed or spiritually wicked? (Grim and Finke 2006)
What is the highest level of restrictions reported? (Grim and Finke 2006)
Variables 10-24 come from the following sources
Estimated number of Adherents:

Bahai (WCD 2005)
Buddhist (WCD 2005)
Chinese Universist (WCD 2005)
Christian (WCD 2005)
Confucianist (WCD 2005)
Ethnoreligionist (WCD 2005)
Hindu (WCD 2005)
Jain (WCD 2005)
Jew (WCD 2005)
Muslim (WCD 2005)
Shintoist (WCD 2005)
Sikh (WCD 2005)
Spiritist (WCD 2005)
Taoist (WCD 2005)
Zoroastrian (WCD 2005)
Other Measures
Country Population Estimate (WDC 2005)
Pop Growth (WCD 2002)
Life Expectancy (United Nations 2005)
Religious Freedom Scale, Freedom House (Marshall 2000): Scale 1-7, low is more freedom
Re-coding of World Christian Database State Religion variable (Grim and Finke 2006): Scale 0-3, low is more freedom
2005 Freedom of the Press (Freedom House 2005): Scale 0-100, low is more freedom
2000 Political Typology (Freedom House's "Democracy's Century" Report)
1950 Political Typology (Freedom House's "Democracy's Century" Report)
1900 Political Typology (Freedom House's "Democracy's Century" Report)
2005 Political Rights (Freedom House 2005): Scale 1-7, low is more freedom
2005 Civil Liberties (Freedom House 2005): Scale 1-7, low is more freedom
2005 Economic Freedom Restriction (Heritage Foundation, 2005): Scale 1-7, low is more freedom
Purchasing Power Parity in U.S. Dollars (United Nations 2003): Per capita income adjusted for purchasing power in country.
2005 GINI Index of Income Inequality (United Nations/World Bank, 2005): Measures the extent to which the distribution of income (or consumption) among individuals or households within a country deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. A Lorenz curve plots the cumulative percentages of total income received against the cumulative number of recipients, starting with the poorest individual or household. The Gini index measures the area between the Lorenz curve and a hypothetical line of absolute equality, expressed as a percentage of the maximum area under the line. A value of 0 represents perfect equality, a value of 100 perfect inequality.
2003 Human Development Index (United Nations, 2005): The human development index (HDI) is a composite index that measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, as measured by life expectancy at birth; knowledge, as measured by the adult literacy rate and the combined gross enrollment ratio for primary, secondary and tertiary schools; and a decent standard of living, as measured by GDP per capita in purchasing power parity (PPP) US dollars. Higher scores indicate greater development. See http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/indices/
2003 Gender-related Development Index (United Nations, 2005): A composite index measuring average achievement in the three basic dimensions captured in the human development index: a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living, adjusted to account for inequalities between men and women. See http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/indices/
Sources for more information
The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke http://www.religjournal.com/ describes the coding of the U.S. State Department's http://www.state.gov/g/drl/irf/ International Religious Freedom reports. The variables in this data set were coded from the reports for 2003. Under Brian Grimís supervision, additional years of the reports are currently being coded by researchers at the http://www.thearda.com/ Association of Religion Data Archives. Used with permission.

The http://worldchristiandatabase.org/wcd/ World Christian Database (WCD) is based on the 2600-page award-winning World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends, first published in 1982 and revised in 2001. This extensive work on World religion is now completely updated and integrated into the WCD online database. Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

The http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/ United Nations Human Development Reports provide data and statistical analysis in various areas of human development. The Human Development Report (HDR) presents two types of statistics: the human development indicator tables, which provide a global assessment of country achievements in different areas of human development, and thematic statistical analysis. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

The http://crf.hudson.org/ Center for Religious Freedom is a self-sustaining division of http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=1 Freedom House. Founded in 1941 by Eleanor Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie to oppose Nazism and Communism in Europe, Freedom House is America's oldest human rights group. Its Center for Religious Freedom defends against religious persecution of all groups throughout the world. It insists that U.S. foreign policy defend Christians and Jews, Muslim dissidents and minorities, and other religious minorities. This scale was originally published by Paul Marshall (2000) in his book Religious Freedom in the World: A Global Report on Freedom and Persecution (Broadman and Holman). A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=1 Freedom House is an independent non-governmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world. Freedom is possible only in democratic political systems in which the governments are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, belief and respect for the rights of minorities and women are guaranteed. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

The U.S. State Department's http://www.state.gov/g/drl/irf/ International Religious Freedom report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

The http://www.heritage.org/index/ Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom is a systematic, empirical measurement of economic freedom in countries throughout the world. A set of objective economic criteria are used to study and grade various countries for the annual publication of the Index of Economic Freedom. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.