Upward trend in ‘deaths of despair’ linked to drop in religious participation, economist finds

Over the past 20 years, the death rate from drug poisonings in the U.S. has tripled and suicide and alcoholic liver disease death rates have increased by 30 percent — particularly among middle-aged white Americans. Daniel Hungerman, professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame, and his co-authors studied the connection between a sharp downturn of religious participation in the late 1980s and the swift rise in these “deaths of despair” among white Americans ages 45 to 54 in the early 1990s.

Researchers Explore the Role of Congregations in Racial Justice

A trio of University of Arkansas at Little Rock investigators are exploring the role that Little Rock congregations play in faith-based, racial justice efforts, including the response of congregations after the 2020 death of George Floyd. The paper, “Race and Faith: The Role of Congregations in Racial Justice,” was presented at the American Political Science Association Conference in Montreal in September.