Three Surveys; Iran, US religiosity and expensive cities

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The American Religious Identification Survey of 51,000 adult Americans last month found some of the secularizing trends seen in Europe;

Unchurched increase: 14% claimed no religious affiliation. That number was 8% in a similar study from 1990.”

What do the Iranians think;

“The poll revealed a country divided on many issues, although united on the role that Iran should play in the region. Iranians said they believe their country should lead the region “diplomatically and militarily” – 56% supported this view, and only 12% said their country should not be the dominant regional power. Nearly equal percentages of respondents want Iran to become more secular and liberal (31%) as want the country to become more religious and conservative (36%)….

Despite tensions between the United States and Iran, most Iranians – nearly two thirds – said they don’t believe that the two countries will go to war in the next decade.

Iranian men were more interested than women in making the economy work better. Among men, 47% said the economy should be a top government priority, while just 33% of women agreed. The older the respondent, the less important they considered development of a nuclear arsenal.

A majority said they would be willing to suffer through a bad economy if that were the price the country had to pay to develop its nuclear program. Also, 25% said they would blame the United States if the United Nations imposed nuclear-related sanctions, although nearly 40% said they were not sure whom to blame. Only one in six would blame Iran’s own government. If their country were to develop nuclear weapons, 25% said it would make the Middle East a safer place, but 35% disagreed with that statement.”

World most expensive cities;

"Moscow is the most expensive city in Europe and in the rest of the world, with a score of 123.9. "Steep accommodation costs have contributed to the city's high ranking, as the recent property boom has driven up rental prices for expatriates," said Anna Krotova, Senior Researcher at Mercer.

London is the second most expensive city in Europe and ranks in 5th position (score 110.6). "While prices have actually increased slightly over the last year, the strengthening of the dollar against the pound means London has dropped two places since last year," said Ms. Krotova.

Other costly European cities include Geneva in 7th place (103), Copenhagen in 8th (101.1) and Zurich in 9th (100.8) - all have been pushed down one place this year. Oslo remains in 10th place with a score of 100 while St. Petersburg is in 12th position (99.7).

Ms Krotova commented: "The Euro has weakened against a number of currencies, for example the Canadian and US dollars, reducing the cost of living for expatriates in many European countries."


At Cato Unbound debate on What to do about Iran

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