Does Religious Activity Distinguish the Mortality Experiences of Older Taiwanese? An Analysis Using Eighteen Years of Follow-Up Data

This paper extends investigation of religiosity and longevity to Taiwan using a 1989 survey: N = 3849, aged 60+, with 18 years of follow-up. Religious activity is measured as worship and performance of rituals. A Gompertz regression, adjusted and non-adjusted for covariates and mediating factors, shows the hazard of dying is lower for the religiously active versus the non-active. Transformed into life table functions, a 60-year-old religiously active Taiwanese female lives more than 1 year longer than her non-religious counterpart, ceteris paribus. Mainland Chinese migrants are examined carefully because of unique religious and health characteristics. They live longer, but the religiosity gap is similar.