FPL Poll Spot

Home > Polls > Plurality of Americans believe capitalism at odds with Christian values

Plurality of Americans believe capitalism at odds with Christian values

Sponsor: Public Religion Research Institute and Brookings Institution and Religion News Service
Released: 2011-04

View full poll

Overall more Americans believe that Christian values are at odds with capitalism and the free market than believe they are compatible. This pattern also holds among Christians. Among Christians in the U.S., only 38% believe capitalism and the free market are consistent with Christian values while 46% believe the two are at odds. Religiously unaffiliated Americans look similar to the general population and to Christian Americans, with a plurality (40%) saying capitalism is at odds with Christian values, compared to 32% who say they are compatible; 14% say they do not know. There are significant differences by gender, party and income.

For instance, half (50%) of women believe that capitalism and Christian values are at odds, compared to 37% of men.

A majority (53%) of Democrats believe that capitalism and Christian values are at odds compared to 26% who believe they are compatible. Among Republicans, only 37% say Christian values and capitalism are at odds, and nearly half (46%) say the two are compatible. Among Americans who identify with the Tea Party, a solid majority (56%) say that capitalism is consistent with Christian values; only 35% believe they are at odds.

Nearly half (46%) of Americans with household incomes of $100,000 a year or more believe that capitalism is consistent with Christian values, compared to only 23% of those with household incomes of $30,000 a year or less.

More than 6-in-10 (62%) Americans believe that one of the biggest problems in this country is that more and more wealth is held by just a few people. About 1-in-4 (24%) say that this is not that big a problem.