Americans who are very religious have a higher wellbeing rating than those who are moderately so or not bothered by religion at all, a Gallup survey released said.
Some 676 000 people were surveyed, taking into account age, social-economic status and where they live, with "very religious" respondents earning a wellbeing index of 69.2, compared to 63.7 for the "moderately religious."
However, people who said they were not religious at all fell into the middle of the wellbeing range, with a rating of 65.3.
Race and ethnicity, marital status and whether or not a respondent had children were also factored into the index ratings.
Overall, 41% of those questioned said they were "very religious," 28.3% described themselves as "moderately religious," and 30.7% said they were "non-religious."
"Very religious Americans enjoy at least modestly higher scores across most of the wellbeing areas, compared with moderately and nonreligious Americans," Gallup said, while adding a caveat.
"It is possible that Americans who have higher wellbeing are more likely to choose to be religious than those with lower wellbeing, or that some third variable could be driving certain segments of the US population to be more religious and to have higher wellbeing," it said.
The survey was conducted by telephone between January 2010 and December 2011 in all 50 US states, plus the capital Washington DC.
(Sapa, February 2012)