Is there a relationship between religiosity and homicide in the developed world and beyond? Here we look at this relationship for 33 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Iceland and Luxemburg are the two missing OECD countries from the Gallup survey. Religiosity, or importance of religion, is defined by the question, “Is religion important in your daily life?” from a 2009 Gallup poll.

The majority of the countries are closely grouped, with intentional homicide rates below 2 per 100,000 people. The most notable exception is the United States! The six outlier countries—United States along with Mexico, Chile, Turkey, Latvia, and Estonia—mean that there is statistical weak positive correlation between religiosity and homicide; removing these outliers (e.g., largely just European countries) entirely removes this relationship. The United States is an outlier, arguably, largely due to widespread gun ownership and relatively relaxed gun ownership.

Stay tuned to an upcoming post looking at religiosity and the globe… it is an interesting relationship!

Data and software: The religiosity is taken from a Gallup survey1 and homicide data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and compiled on Wikipedia2. The data was compiled and visualized using Microsoft Excel3.