A recent Gallup poll has shown an impressive positive correlation between how religious the inhabitants are and how bad they are of. In other words, this means that if you have a nation that is in a poor state, then your people are likely to turn to religion for guidance, or meaning or whatever you would like to call it. There is of course another possibility namely that first a people become religious, and then the state starts to tear apart. I personally don't believe in the latter possibility, rather, as I have argued here, I think that religion is where people who have lost meaning try to find their answers.
This gallup poll should also be seen as an important piece of information in the debate on whether religion makes people happier. There are indeed a few studies that have looked at this, and they tend to show that people who have religion, everything else being equal, are happier than people who are not religous.
This gallup poll shows, however, that on a global scale, religious people are not happier than non-religious people (assuming that the average citizen in Bangladesh or Congo kinshasa are not as happy as the average American or Swede).