Why Catholic majority contries seem to be poorer and crime rate higher than others

Many Catholic majority countries (Mexico, South America, Philipines, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Italy, France, Hungary ) look poor and crime rate higher than the Protestant countries (USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark) and non-religion countries( China, Japan, Singapore), What do you think?

One might pose it the other way. Why did Anglo countries and parts of the Teutonic world go Protestant? A good part of it was that they gained a prosperity at a given point in time that they did not want to share. One of the first things they did was loot the Church institutions.


How about latin america

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Some parts of Latin America do quite well; Chile for example. At one time so did Argentina, whose economy was comparable to ours until mismanagement ended it. Any country can crash its economy. Britain was a basket case between WWII and Thatcher. On the other hand, the Catholic Rhineland is prosperous. Catholic Bavaria is too.

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I think it’s also interesting to think about historically Catholic countries that don’t have corrupt government.
Austria, any other countries?

The condition of global and national economies doesn’t really have anything to do with religion, culture or some kind of “national spirit” like people think.


Really, it’s not a coincidence that historically Protestant countries top this list?
Protestant work ethic and all that?

I’m really not trying to be a jerk here, but as between the average hillbilly (mostly protestants) and a legal but recent immigrant from Mexico, (mostly Catholics) I would say the hillbilly doesn’t have much to hold over the Mexican when it comes to “work ethic”. The latter will tell you the best thing about being here is that you can keep most of what you work for, unlike in Mexico where the government taxes more than here and there’s some corrupt government person who demands your money at every turn.

I don’t buy “protestant work ethic” at all. I think it’s a myth. So is the myth of the lazy hillbilly, by the way. They have a good work ethic too, but in no way is it stronger than that of a Mexican.


Well, so Protestant work ethic has nothing to do with the top 10 countries for standard of living? Your “hillbilly” example isn’t necessarily representative of every Protestant.

Maybe not, but I think “protestant work ethic” is a crock. Italy was rolling in gold, art and architecture so lavish and so beautiful it’s still a marvel today. But the trade routes changed. For a time, commerce with the East no longer went overland to the Mediterranean to Italy and thence to Europe. But before that, Italian banker financed northern kings’ wars. Venice was just a city, but it was so prosperous it had the first “ship factory” on earth, and luckily so because it kept the Turks from conquering Europe.

Spain and Portugal stood astride nearly all of the Americas. Spanish rulers ruled the Netherlands as well as Spain and the Americas. But Spain lost her empire over time. Britain and the Netherlands gained empires (as did Catholic France) then lost them. Britain and Norway now prosper because of North Sea oil, while France, Italy and Spain have none. At one time, Poland ruled Ukraine and into Russia, and her grandees were the envy of the British traders who were supplicants in Warsaw for a piece of the Baltic trade.

It has nothing to do with “work ethics”.

The #1 country when it comes to gdp/capita is Catholic Luxembourg. Ireland is No. 4, Austria is ahead of Germany. Belgium and France are ahead of England. That’s according to the IMF.

According to the UN, the top three are all Catholic; Lichtenstein, Luxembourg and Monaco.


Really, it’s not a coincidence that historically Protestant countries top this list?
Protestant work ethic and all that?

No such thing. The idea was advanced by Weber as an explanation for the rise of capitalism and private enterprise, but capitalism was certainly starting to emerge before and during the Reformation and emerged in Catholic countries too. I’m not sure the basis of capitalism is hard work anyway. The origin of capitalism in Europe was the forceful dispossession of most ordinary people from common land, and this class being turned into people who had to work for a wage. The secret to “wealth creation” under capitalism is employing other people to work for you.

Besides, what’s the real connection between wealth and GDP in developed capitalism and “hard work?” All of the countries Ridgerunner cites for their high GDP are centres for finance, banking and investment. I imagine the countries where people actually work the “hardest”, in terms of physical labour and hours worked, are poorer countries where most of the world’s physical industry is located.

I imagine that most of the modern image of Catholic countries being poorer, if it does still exist, stems from Latin America. However much of the problems with those countries stems from imperialist influence and a global division of labour which reduces them to providing cheap material goods than it does a lack of “hard work.”

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Better Christians than barbarians.

Not to mention that much of Latin America now has a very significant Protestant (specifically flavors of Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism) population…in terms of weekly religious observance, I imagine places like Brazil are more Protestant than Catholic at this point.

Germany is not a Protestant country. It was historically split between Catholic and Protestant — Bismarck lost the Kulturkampf in the south — and today is about 1/3 Catholic, 1/3 Protestant, and 1/3 atheist.

This is an old and discredited idea. It also doesn’t fit for Catholic countries like France and Belgium.

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USA, Australia and many countries were also influent from Imperialist nations but they are not poor and high crime like South America or Philipines

Australia is not a Protestant majority country either. Historically there were roughly even numbers of Catholics and Protestants there.

Also, Canada doesn’t fit this mold.

France is a catholics country with high crime and less weathy than protestant countries like Denmark ,Sweden or Norway , do u think so

ok compare Latin America or Philipines to USA, both side now are idependent from Imperialist Nation but USA are better than a highcrime ,poverty those others ,right?

It is about 1/3 Catholic today; but if you’re specifically thinking about comparing countries to Scandinavia, you can find other Catholic countries have a higher GDP per capita (Luxembourg, Ireland) or lower homicide rates, for example (Italy compared to Denmark or Sweden).

The USA has/had a lot of imperialist influence on Latin America and the Philippines.

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