Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

International Religious Freedom Data (Grim and Finke Data Set)

July 1, 2006

This dataset, produced by Brian Grim and Roger Finke, converts the narrative information found in the US State Department's International Religious Freedom (IRF) reports into more than 100 different variables describing religious freedom in 195 countries. Grim and Finke develop three standardized indexes to facilitate cross-national comparison. These indexes measure Government Regulation of Religion (GRI), Government Favoritism of Religion (GFI), and Social Regulation of Religion (SRI). Files for individual years and an aggregate file of coded data from the 2001, 2003, and 2005 IRF reports are available on the ARDA website. Because the dataset derives from the IRF reports, it depends on the varying detail and quality of the reports. However, by translating the massive amount of information in the IRF reports into a format that greatly facilitates cross-national comparison, it offers a path-breaking means to analyze the value of religious liberty to economic, social, and political development.

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