Social Dimensions of Religious Diversity in Brazil

Tim B. Heaton, Brigham Young University

This paper examines demographic characteristics of religious groups in Brazil using the 2000 Census. Rational choice theory holds that in a open market a variety of religious groups will form. Analysis of 42 religious groups in Brazil indicates that two factors describe much of the demographic diversity. The first factor includes socioeconomic status, children ever born, age at marriage, divorce and urbanization. The second factor is the percentage nonwhite. Religious groups show substantial diversity on these dimensions, but most groups are clustered near the center. Contrary to some predictions, more groups have emereged with scores above rather than below Roman Catholics.

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Presented in Poster Session 4