Norris and Inglehart in their 2004 book Sacred and Secular proposed that secularism prevails more in affluent societies because these societies experience existential security and hence take security for granted, and as such they do not need to resort to religion or spirituality to comfort them at times of insecurities. Whereas, in the developing and poor countries people are constantly under threats of physical, social and personal vulnerabilities, and hence, need to resort to religion as a comfort factor. In other words, affluence and secularization go together. They tested this hypothesis against data from the World Values Survey in the period 1981-2001.
Such proposal misses the point that affluent people although scape physical insecurities, they are in miserable insecure conditions when it comes to meta-physical terms. No matter how an individual or a society is rich in material terms, his/her heart and soul remains looking forward to submitting to Allah. Man is hardwired to be poor and in need of divinity and spirituality. Nothing can quench the inner thirst for submission to a great power. Many have erred in identifying the true God, but nevertheless, human journey since inception is basically a journey in search of such deity.
Read for example, verse 15 of Sura Fatir (35)
O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.
It is very well-known fact that many celebrities attempt suicide after they reach the apex of material affluence but feel dryness in their spirituality. The typical problem of Norris and Inglehart is that they mixed-up between money and happiness.
Read for example in Quran 16:97 how the religious is rewarded with a ‘happy life’.
Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.
..and read the contrasting picture in 20:124 of how the ‘secular’ is doomed to suffer from miserable life
And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.”
The rich, once feels satisfied with material life starts to transgress. Read for example 96:6-7
No! [But] indeed, man transgresses, Because he sees himself self-sufficient.
Speaking about insecurity, the real threat to security is secularization and getting away from spirituality. Read the following quotes from prophet Ibrahim as mentioned in Quran 6:80-82
And his people argued with him [Abraham]. He said, “Do you argue with me concerning Allah while He has guided me? And I fear not what you associate with Him [and will not be harmed] unless my Lord should will something. My Lord encompasses all things in knowledge; then will you not remember? And how should I fear what you associate while you do not fear that you have associated with Allah that for which He has not sent down to you any authority? So which of the two parties has more right to security, if you should know? They who believe and do not mix their belief with injustice - those will have security, and they are [rightly] guided.