Pew Research Center Releases American–Western European Values Gap Report

The Pew Research Center has on 17 November 2011 released the results of a new survey study exploring how Americans differ from Europeans in their views on religion. The survey by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project compares American attitudes on religion with those of residents in Britain, Spain, France, and Germany. 

The survey finds that while half of Americans say religion is very important in their lives, fewer than a quarter of Europeans  share this view. Moreover, Americans are far more inclined than Western Europeans to say it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values.

The survey reveals that American values differ from those of Western Europeans in many important ways. Most notably, Americans are more individualistic and are less supportive of a strong safety net than are the publics of Spain, Britain, France, and Germany. However, Americans are coming closer to Europeans in not seeing their culture as superior to that of other nations.