Document Type

Unpublished Research Paper

Publication Date



Research upon health and life expectancy has focused primarily upon individual and community level analyses, with extrapolations to national level data. In this study, the unit of analysis is shifted from individual health statistics to the national level. Life expectancy data for every nation and in the world (total n=191, restricted n=138) is explored, controlling for a variety of socio-economic factors. Two hypotheses are tested which offer the explanation homogeneity in both religion (H1) and ethnicity (H2), determines differences in life expectancy between nations. The first hypothesis, that religious homogeneity supports positive health outcomes is supported. The second hypothesis, that ethnic homogeneity supports positive health outcomes, is not. Several explanations for the role of religion in promoting positive health, as measured by life expectancy, are noted and discussed.


Sociology and Corrections