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Hindus Most Educated Religious Community in US: Report

The study by Pew used the four-year college degree as the marker, saying it is generally regarded as the key asset for economic success.

Hindus are the most educated — based on college degrees — among US religious groups, followed by Unitarians Universalists, Jews, Anglicans and congregants of the Episcopal Church, according to a new study.

They are ahead also of atheists and agnostics.

The study by Pew used the four-year college degree as the marker, saying it is generally regarded as the key asset for economic success.

Hindus accounted for the largest share of those with college degrees, with 77%. Unitarians, a religious group that says it has no creed and draws inspiration from a range of sacred scriptures — Indian American lawmaker Ami Bera is one — came second with 67%. Jews and Anglican church adherent were a joint third at 59%, and Episcopal church rounded off the top five with 56%.

Atheists and agnostics accounted for 43% and 42% respectively and Muslims were 39% and Catholics 26%, which was under the total for all US adults.

The United States doesn’t keep an official count of its population based on religion, but an estimated 0.7% of America’s 325 million population could be Hindus, according to a 2014 study by Pew. There are other estimates that put the number between 2 million and 3 million.

While a large number of Hindus in the United States are of Indian descent, coming here from India or diasporas in Africa and the Caribbeans, there other such as Tulsi Gabbard, a member of the US House of Representatives from Hawaii.

As the larger Indian American community has made a mark as the wealthiest in the United States and the most educated, so have its largest cohort, the Hindus.

The Pew study made the connection between the high level of education among Hindus, and Jews, to project why they are also the richest in the country. “Given the strong correlation between educational attainment and economic success, it is not surprising that Jews and Hindus, on average, have high household incomes, with four-in-ten Jews (44%) and roughly a third of Hindus (36%) living in households with annual incomes of at least $100,000,” it said citing its 2014 study.

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