The Impact of Religiosity on Individual Perception of Wellbeing and Living Standards: A Cross-cultural Study on Selected Developing Economies

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Yuriy Bilan
Mihaela Simionescu
Sergej Vojtovič
Sergii Zapototskyi


This study considers the impact of religion on perceptions of happiness and quality of life, and is especially focused on the adjunct effects of religion on the standard of living in the economically developing countries of Turkey, Ukraine, Senegal, and Morocco. The data have been collected using a survey carried out in 2012, and the empirical analysis was based on non-parametric tests and multinomial logistic regression. The results indicate that there are differences between devout followers of religion and atheists regarding gender, marital status, and perceptions of personal financial realities. Demographically, females, irrespective of whether they are married or single, tend to be more religious, and religious adherents, irrespective of gender, are such largely for the acquisitive aim of achieving improvements in standard of living or contentment with the standard of living which they have. When compared to atheists it was found that the latter was more affluent and thus stressed a more secular approach to life that emphasizes a sense of perennial discontent with social status and even a more acquisitive aim of procuring more money and status. Based on a mixed-effects generalized linear model that considers differences between countries as random effects, it may be concluded that negative perceptions regarding standard of living cause religiosity, but also allows for more satisfaction in daily life. Taking into account the countries that were selected for this study, it can be said that the results are truly cross-cultural in nature. Moreover, most of the conclusions that were reached are, to some extent, relevant to other developing economies of Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.


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Bilan, Y., Simionescu, M., Vojtovič, S., & Zapototskyi, S. (2019). The Impact of Religiosity on Individual Perception of Wellbeing and Living Standards: A Cross-cultural Study on Selected Developing Economies. Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 27(4), 347 - 358. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Yuriy Bilan, Centre of Applied Economic Research, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic

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