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Religious-Ethnic Communities in the American Families of Faith Project Sample

It is always complex, challenging, and somewhat controversial to try to identify, label, and separate people into ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious groups. Yet there is heuristic value in making some distinctions in a sample as large as the 308 families found in the American Families of Faith project.

In the 5th Edition of their popular textbook Ethnic Families in America, Wright, Mindel, Habenstein, and Van Tran (2012) cover dozens of ethnic and racial minorities in America. They also include a section on “Socio-Religious Ethnic Families” that consist of chapters on four groups in America that are considered distinctive enough to merit separate attention. These four are Jewish-American, Muslim-American, Amish-American, and Mormon-American families. We have chosen to follow their lead by identifying “religious-ethnic” communities in our sample.

In the American Families of Faith project, we have purposely over-sampled religious minorities (e.g., Mormon, Jewish, Muslim families) and racial/ethnic minorities in an effort to learn more from and about those families that reflect religious and ethnic diversity . We have identified eleven religious-ethnic communities in the 308 families in the American Families of Faith project sample: Asian Christian, Black Christian, Catholic & Orthodox Christian, Evangelical Christian, Hispanic Christian, Mainline Christian, Latter-day Saint Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Inter-Faith Marriages, and religious Nones. Table 1 contains the numbers (and percent) of families in each religious-ethnic community and Figure 1 shows the number and percentage of families among the eleven religious-ethnic communities.

Table 1 - Number and Percentage of Families by Religious-Ethnic Community

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01 NEW 3.29.24 Number and Percentage of Families by Religious-Ethnic Community.png

Figure 1. Number and Percentage of Families by Religious-Ethnic Community.


Wright, R., Mindel, C. H., Habenstein, R. W., & Van Tran, T. (Eds) (2012). Ethnic Families in America: Patterns and Variations (5th Ed.). Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle Hall, NJ.