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Data from the ARDA National Profiles, 2011 Update - Religion Indexes, Adherents and Other Data




Harris, J., Martin, R. R., & Finke, R. (2018, November 29). Data from the ARDA National Profiles, 2011 Update - Religion Indexes, Adherents and Other Data.


This file assembles data from multiple sources on 250 countries and territories, and also aggregates this data globally and by 22 world regions. The file presents most of the data available on the ARDA National Profiles as of August 2011 in a single downloadable dataset. Many of the measures are from the ARDA's coding of the 2008 US State Department's International Religious Freedom (IRF) Reports. This coding produced data on 198 different countries and territories (see the Summary file for the International Religious Freedom Data, 2008 for a list of countries coded, available for download from the ARDA), but excluded the United States. In addition, this project assembled (with permission) other cross-national measures of interest to researchers on religion, economics, and politics. They include adherent information from the World Christian Database, scales from Freedom House, the Religion and State Project, the Polity IV Project, the Heritage Foundation, the Correlates of War Project, and the CIRI Human Rights Data Project, and various socio-economic measures from the United Nations and the CIA's World Factbook. The source of each variable in this dataset is acknowledged in the variable's description, except in the case of those variables generated by ARDA researchers' coding of the Department of State's IRF Reports.

The ARDA has added five additional variables to the original data set to enhance the users' experience on our site.

Data File

Cases: 273
Variables: 105
Weight Variable: None

Data Collection

Coding of U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports was conducted from September 2009 to February 2010. Additional measures were accessed by ARDA researchers from May to August 2010.

Funded By

Data collection was funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

Collection Procedures

Many of the measures in this file are based on the 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports. These reports were assigned quantitative measures by using a coding instrument, essentially a survey questionnaire. The questions included measures for specific acts of discrimination, prejudice, persecution, warfare, property rights, forced migration, and other acts that might (or might not) be related to the religious life of the country. For all variables, the coders were asked to make substantive observations of the qualitative data and to base their codes on empirical observations of actions or patterns of behavior that were documented in the reports. For a fuller description of the coding procedures, see Grim and Finke (2006).

See below for information on other data sources utilized in this dataset.

Sampling Procedures

This file contains data on countries and territories that were recognized by at least one of the data sources as of summer 2010. Data on some 250 countries and territories is included in this dataset. Countries and territories were aggregated into 22 world regions, and both country- and region-level data is available in this file.

Principal Investigators

The Association of Religion Data Archives
Jaime Harris, Project Manager for International Data
Robert R. Martin, Research Associate
Roger Finke, Director

Related Publications

Grim, Brian J. and Roger Finke (2006). "International Religion Indexes: Government Regulation, Government Favoritism, and Social Regulation of Religion." Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion 2 (Article 1).

Additional Data Sources

The U.S. Census Bureau's International Data Base (IDB) is a computerized data bank containing statistical tables of demographic data for 227 countries and areas of the world.

The CIA's World Factbook was created as an annual summary and update to the now defunct National Intelligence Survey (NIS) studies. The first classified Factbook was published in August 1962, and the first unclassified version was published in June 1971. The NIS program was terminated in 1973 except for the Factbook, map, and gazetteer components. The 1975 Factbook was the first to be made available to the public with sales through the US Government Printing Office (GPO). The year 2010 marks the 67th year of the World Factbook and its predecessor programs. The maps and flags are also from the World Factbook, which is an open source.

The United Nations Human Development Reports provide data and statistical analysis in various areas of human development. The Human Development Report (HDR) presents two types of statistics: the human development indicator tables, which provide a global assessment of country achievements in different areas of human development, and thematic statistical analysis. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website.

The World Christian Database (WCD) is based on the 2600-page award-winning World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends, first published in 1982 and revised in 2001. This extensive work on world religion is now completely updated and integrated into the WCD online database. Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

Freedom House is an independent non-governmental organization that offers measures of the extent to which governments are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, belief and respect for the rights of minorities and women are guaranteed. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

The Center for Religious Freedom joined Hudson Institute in January 2007, following a 10-year affiliation with Freedom House. Founded in 1941 by Eleanor Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie to oppose Nazism and Communism in Europe, Freedom House is America's oldest human rights group. Its Center for Religious Freedom defends against religious persecution of all groups throughout the world. It insists that U.S. foreign policy defend Christians and Jews, Muslim dissidents and minorities, and other religious minorities. This scale was originally published by Paul Marshall (2000) in his book Religious Freedom in the World: A Global Report on Freedom and Persecution (Broadman and Holman). The circa-2007 measures used in the present dataset are drawn from the 2008 edition of Religious Freedom in the World (Rowman and Littlefield). Used with permission.

The Religion and State (RAS) Project is a university-based project located at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. Its goal is to create a set of measures that systematically gauge the intersection between government and religion. Specifically, it examines government religion policy. Round 1 of the RAS dataset measures the extent of government involvement in religion (GIR) or the lack thereof for 175 states on a yearly basis between 1990 and 2002. This dataset, featuring this and other international measures highlighted on the country pages may be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

Import and export data is drawn from the International Trade, 1870-2006 (v2.01) dataset and military data is drawn from the National Material Capabilities (v4.0) dataset. Both datasets are components of and hosted by the Correlates of War Project. The Correlates of War Project seeks to facilitate the collection, dissemination, and use of accurate and reliable quantitative data in international relations. Correlates of War data may be accessed through the above link. Used with permission.

The Polity IV Project continues the Polity research tradition of coding the authority characteristics of states in the world system for purposes of comparative, quantitative analysis. The POLITY score reported here is computed by subtracting the Polity IV Project's Autocracy score for a country from its Democracy score. More information and access to the Polity IV Project datasets is available at the homepage of the Polity IV Project. Used with permission.

The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom is a systematic, empirical measurement of economic freedom in countries throughout the world. A set of objective economic criteria are used to study and grade various countries for the annual publication of the Index of Economic Freedom. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

HIV prevalence figures are drawn from the 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, published by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Notes on Select Variables

MSRI_08, MSRI0308 and MSRI38R:
The Social Regulation of Religion Index (SRI) was altered for the 2008 wave of coding the Department of State's IRF Reports. The Modified Social Regulation of Religion Index (MSRI) is calculated by (a) transforming a country's value on each of the five variables listed below so that they have ranges from zero to one, (b) taking the sum of the five transformed values and (c) multiplying the sum by two. Countries may have MSRI values between zero and 10.

Variables comprising the Modified Social Regulation of Religion Index (MSRI):
OTHREL08: Societal attitudes toward other or nontraditional religions are reported to be...
PROSE208: According to the Report, do traditional attitudes and/or edits of the clerical establishment strongly discourage proselytizing, that is, trying to win converts?
ESTAB08: According to the Report, do established or existing religions try to shut out new religions in any way?
INTOLE08: According to the Report, are citizens intolerant of "nontraditional" faiths, that is, groups they perceive as new religions?
NONTRA08: According to the Report, how does the Report characterize citizens' receptivity to proselytizing by nontraditional faiths or faiths other than their own?

See Grim and Finke, 2006 for a detailed description of the original Social Regulation of Religion Index (SRI).

The 2010 Human Development Index (HDI) is a way of measuring development by combining indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment and income into a composite human development index, and ranges from zero to one, with one representing the highest level of human development. Life expectancy is calculated utilizing a minimum value for life expectancy of 25 years and maximum value of 85. Educational attainment is derived from the adult literacy rate and the combined gross enrollment ratio for primary, secondary, and tertiary schooling, weighted to give adult literacy more significance in the statistic. Income is calculated using a logarithm of the per capita gross domestic product ranging from $100 (PPP) to $40,000 (PPP) to reflect diminishing importance of income with increasing GDP.

The 2008 Gender Inequality Index is a composite measure reflecting inequality in achievements between women and men in three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment and the labor market. It varies between zero (when women and men fare equally) and one (when men or women fare poorly compared to the other in all dimensions). The health dimension is measured by two indicators: maternal mortality ratio and the adolescent fertility rate. The empowerment dimension is also measured by two indicators: the share of parliamentary seats held by each sex and by secondary and higher education attainment levels. The labor dimension is measured by women's participation in the workforce.

The Income Gini coefficient is a measure of the deviation of the distribution of income (or consumption) among individuals or households within a country from a perfectly equal distribution. A value of zero represents absolute equality, a value of 100 absolute inequality.

Fall 2012 Update

Note: The original values of GRI_08 and MSRI0308 as well as other variables derived from these measures (GRI0308, GRI0308R, MSRI38R, I-GVTREG and I-SOCREG) were incorrect for some countries in the original version of this dataset. The dataset has been updated to correct this issue. The uncorrected values of GRI_08, GRI0308R and MSRI38R are included in this dataset and should be used for replication purposes only. These uncorrected values are available in the variables GRI08REP, GRI38REP and MSRI38RP, respectively.

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