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Facebook 'Love And Religion' Survey Reveals Interfaith Romances

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Interfaith relationships are a modern reality, but some countries and religious affiliations are more open to them than others.

Facebook's Data Science team has a special gift for us this Valentine's Day-- insight into how religion affects our love lives.

Mike Develin broke down the data to show the findings, which reveal that Spain is the country with the highest percentage of interfaith relationships, with 28% of reported romances being between two people of different religions.

The scientists charted the percentage of actual same-religion relationships, against the percentage of expected same-religion relationships if people were randomly matched up with partners.

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They found that some religiously diverse countries had unexpectedly low rates of interfaith relationships. For example, the United Kingdom's Facebook population identifies itself as 40% Protestant, 17% Catholic, 15% atheist, and 11% Muslim, causing Facebook to expect that only 21% of the population would be in a relationship with someone of the same religion. However, according to their data, fully 73% of UK Facebook users share their lover's religion.

How do these findings correspond to marriage? Facebook restricted its analysis to the United States to remove country effects and to include gay marriages and found that Americans were more willing to date partners of a different religion than to marry them, especially in their twenties.

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Members of some religions were found to be more likely to intermarry than others in the United States. Mormons and Sikhs tend to both marry and date members of the same religion, while Jews are much more likely to marry outside the faith.

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Which religion is the most prone to intermarriage? That would be the Jedis, though a pretty impressive 13.2% of Jedis are in fact married to another Jedi Knight. May the Force be with them.

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