Christian population growth
Christian population growth refers to the growth of population of the global Christian community.
- 1 Fertility rate
- 2 By branches
- 3 By country
- 4 Continents and countries with the largest Christian population in 2050 if the percentage remains the same as today
- 5 See also
- 6 References
The Christian fertility has varied throughout history, but it has declined along with most other fertility figures. It is also important to point out that the Christian fertility varies from country to country. Over the last 20 years (1989–2009), the average world fertility rate decreased from 3.50 to 2.58, a fall of 0.92 children per women or 26%. The weighted average fertility rate for Christian nations decreased in the same period from 3.26 to 2.58, a fall of 0.68 children per women or 21%. The weighted average fertility rate for Muslim nations decreased in the same period from 5.17 to 3.23, a fall of 1.94 children per women or 38%. The gap in fertility between the Christian- and Muslim-dominated nations fell from 67% in 1990 to 17% in 2010. If the trend continues, the Muslim and Christian fertility rates will converge in around 2015.
|10 countries with highest percentage of Christians||Birth surplus by religion|
Roman Catholic Church
- Church membership in 2007 was 1.147 billion people, (17% of the global population at the time) increasing from the 1950 figure of 437 million (17% of the global population at the time) and the 1970 figure of 654 million. On 31 December 2008, membership was 1.166 billion, an increase of 11.54% over the same date in 2000, only slightly greater than the rate of increase of the world population (10.77%). The increase was 33.02% in Africa, but only 1.17% in Europe. It was 15.91% in Asia, 11.39% in Oceania, and 10.93% in Americas. As a result, Catholics were 17.77% of the total population in Africa, 63.10% in Americas, 3.05% in Asia, 39.97% in Europe, 26.21% in Oceania, and 17.40% of the world population. Of the world's Catholics, the proportion living in Africa grew from 12.44% in 2000 to 14.84% in 2008, while those living in Europe fell from 26.81% to 24.31%. Membership of the Catholic Church is attained through baptism. from 1983 to 2009, if someone formally left the Church, that fact was noted in the register of the person's baptism.
- Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiles the Vatican's yearbook, said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that "For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us". He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population—a stable percentage—while Muslims were at 19.2 percent. "It is true that while Muslim families, as is well known, continue to make a lot of children, Christian ones on the contrary tend to have fewer and fewer," the monsignor said. Muslims in 2010 represented as much as 23.4% of the total world population and this is expected to increase to 26.3% by 2030.
- According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the World Christian Database as of 2007 estimated the six fastest-growing religions of the world to be Islam (1.84%), the Bahá'í Faith (1.7%), Sikhism (1.62%), Jainism (1.57%), Hinduism (1.52%)and Christianity (1.32%). High birth rates were cited as the reason for the growth.
- The U.S. Center for World Mission stated a growth rate of Christianity at 2.3% for the period 1970 to 1996, (slightly higher than the world population growth rate at the time). This increased the claimed percentage of adherents of Christianity from 33.7% to 33.9%.
- The World Christian Database as of 2007 estimated the growth rate of Christianity at 1.32%. High birth rates and conversions were cited as the main reason.
- Using data from the period 2000–2005 the 2006 Christian World Database estimated that by number of new adherents, Christianity was the fastest growing religion in the world with 30,360,000 new adherents in 2006. This was followed by Islam with 23,920,000 and Hinduism with 13,224,000 estimated new adherents in the same period.
|Country or subnational unit||Regular church attendance (%)|
|United States average||42%|
- Christianity has been estimated[by whom?] to be growing rapidly in South America, Africa, and Asia. In Africa, for instance, in 1900, there were only 8.7 million adherents of Christianity; now there are 390 million, and it is expected by 2025 there will be 600 million Christians in Africa. The number of Catholics in Africa has increased from one million in 1902 to 329,882,000. There are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people.
- The numbers of Christians in Nigeria has grown from 21.4% in 1953 to 48.2% in 2003. This is due to the high number of missionaries in Nigeria.
In the Canada 2001 Census     72% of the Canadian population list Roman Catholicism or Protestantism as a religion. The Roman Catholic Church in Canada is by far the country's largest single denomination. Those who listed no religion account for 16% of total respondents. In British Columbia, however, 35% of respondents reported no religion—more than any single denomination and more than all Protestants combined. . For further information on historically significant religions in Canada, please see Religion in Canada.
|– Roman Catholic||12,793,125||43.2||12,203,625||45.2||+4.8|
|– Total Protestant||8,654,845||29.2||9,427,675||34.9||−8.2|
|– United Church of Canada||2,839,125||9.6||3,093,120||11.5||−8.2|
|– Anglican Church of Canada||2,035,495||6.9||2,188,110||8.1||−7.0|
|– Christian, not included elsewhere¹||780,450||2.6||353,040||1.3||+121.1|
|– Protestant, not included elsewhere²||549,205||1.9||628,945||2.3||−12.7|
|– Christian Orthodox||495,245||1.7||387,395||1.4||+27.8|
|No Religious Affiliation||4,900,090||16.5||3,397,000||12.6||+44.2|
|¹ Includes persons who report “Christian”, and those who report “Apostolic”, “Born-again Christian” and “Evangelical”.
² Includes persons who report only “Protestant”.
* For comparability purposes, 1991 data are presented according to 2001 boundaries.
The United States government does not collect religious data in its census. The survey below, the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) 2008, was a random digit-dialed telephone survey of 54,461 American residential households in the contiguous United States. The 1990 sample size was 113,723; 2001 sample size was 50,281.
Adult respondents were asked the open-ended question, "What is your religion, if any?" Interviewers did not prompt or offer a suggested list of potential answers. The religion of the spouse or partner was also asked. If the initial answer was "Protestant" or "Christian" further questions were asked to probe which particular denomination. About one third of the sample was asked more detailed demographic questions.
Religious Self-Identification of the U.S. Adult Population: 1990, 2001, 2008
Figures are not adjusted for refusals to reply; investigators suspect refusals are possibly more representative of "no religion" than any other group.
in % of
|Adult population, total||175,440||207,983||228,182||30.1%|
|Adult population, Responded||171,409||196,683||216,367||26.2%||97.7%||94.6%||94.8%||−2.9%|
|United Church of Christ||438||1,378||736||68.0%||0.2%||0.7%||0.3%||0.1%|
|Protestant – Unspecified||17,214||4,647||5,187||−69.9%||9.8%||2.2%||2.3%||−7.5%|
|Pentecostal – Unspecified||3,116||4,407||5,416||73.8%||1.8%||2.1%||2.4%||0.6%|
|Assemblies of God||617||1,105||810||31.3%||0.4%||0.5%||0.4%||0.0%|
|Church of God||590||943||663||12.4%||0.3%||0.5%||0.3%||0.0%|
|Other Protestant Denominations||4,630||5,949||7,131||54.0%||2.6%||2.9%||3.1%||0.5%|
|Churches of Christ||1,769||2,593||1,921||8.6%||1.0%||1.2%||0.8%||−0.2%|
|Mormon/Latter Day Saints||2,487||2,697||3,158||27.0%||1.4%||1.3%||1.4%||0.0%|
|Total non-Christian religions||5,853||7,740||8,796||50.3%||3.3%||3.7%||3.9%||0.5%|
|New Religious Movements & Others||1,296||1,770||2,804||116.4%||0.7%||0.9%||1.2%||0.5%|
|None/ No religion, total||14,331||29,481||34,169||138.4%||8.2%||14.2%||15.0%||6.8%|
|Did Not Know/ Refused to reply||4,031||11,300||11,815||193.1%||2.3%||5.4%||5.2%||2.9%|
- The ARIS 2008 survey was carried out during February–November 2008 and collected answers from 54,461 respondents who were questioned in English or Spanish.
- The American population self-identifies as predominantly Christian but Americans are slowly becoming less Christian.
- 86% of American adults identified as Christians in 1990 and 76% in 2008.
- The historic Mainline churches and denominations have experienced the steepest declines while the non-denominational Christian identity has been trending upward particularly since 2001.
- The challenge to Christianity in the U.S. does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion.
- 34% of American adults considered themselves "Born Again or Evangelical Christians" in 2008.
- The U. S. population continues to show signs of becoming less religious, with one out of every seven Americans failing to indicate a religious identity in 2008.
- The "Nones" (no stated religious preference, atheist, or agnostic) continue to grow, though at a much slower pace than in the 1990s, from 8.2% in 1990, to 14.1% in 2001, to 15.0% in 2008.
- Asian Americans are substantially more likely to indicate no religious identity than other racial or ethnic groups.
- One sign of the lack of attachment of Americans to religion is that 27% do not expect a religious funeral at their death.
- Based on their stated beliefs rather than their religious identification in 2008, 70% of Americans believe in a personal God, roughly 12% of Americans are atheist (no God) or agnostic (unknowable or unsure), and another 12% are deistic (a higher power but no personal God).
- America's religious geography has been transformed since 1990. Religious switching along with Hispanic immigration has significantly changed the religious profile of some states and regions. Between 1990 and 2008, the Catholic population proportion of the New England states fell from 50% to 36% and in New York it fell from 44% to 37%, while it rose in California from 29% to 37% and in Texas from 23% to 32%.
- Overall the 1990–2008 ARIS time series shows that changes in religious self-identification in the first decade of the 21st century have been moderate in comparison to the 1990s, which was a period of significant shifts in the religious composition of the United States.
- According to a Hindu organization,[which?] 130,000 people[verification needed] have converted from Hinduism to Christianity between 1965 and 1990. Around 97,000 joined the Methodist Church and the rest mostly joined various Protestant denominations, as well as 2,500 who joined the Catholic Church.[unreliable source?]
- According to the Christian missionary group Barnabas Fund,[unreliable source?] the number of Christians in Mongolia grew from just four in 1989 to around 40,000 as of 2008.
- The percentage of Christians among Singaporeans increased from 12.7% in 1990 to 17.5% in 2010.
- In South Korea, Christianity has grown from 20.7% in 1985 to 29.5% in 2005 according to the World Christian Database.
- The US Department of State estimates that Protestant Christianity may[speculation?] have grown 600% over the last decade in Vietnam.
|This section requires expansion. (October 2012)|
- It is estimated that Orthodoxy is the fastest growing religious faith in Norway, due to immigration from other countries, with a growth rate from 2000 to 2009 at 231.1%.
Continents and countries with the largest Christian population in 2050 if the percentage remains the same as today
|Rank||Continent||Christians (2010)||Rank||Continent||Christians (2050)|
|Rank||Country||Christians (2010)||Rank||Country||Christians (2050)|
|1.||United States||243,186,000||1.||United States||329,343,000|
|4.||Russia||99,775,000||4.||Congo, Democratic Republic of||170,380,000|
|7.||China, People's Republic of||66,959,000||7.||Uganda||123,415,000|
|8.||Congo, Democratic Republic of||63,825,000||8.||Russia||115,756,000|
|10.||Ethiopia||54,978,000||10.||China, People's Republic of||102,208,000|
- Muslim population growth
- Claims to be the fastest-growing religion
- Christian views on contraception
- Christian mission
- Christianity by country
- Christian emigration
- FASTEST GROWING RELIGION
- United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2007). "United Nations World Population Prospects: 2006 revision, Table A.15" (PDF). New York: UN. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
- "Fastest Growing Religion – Numbers".
- "Vatican: Priest numbers show steady, moderate increase". Catholic News Service. 2 March 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- Froehle, pp. 4–5
- Bazar, Emily (16 April 2008). "Immigrants Make Pilgrimage to Pope". USA Today. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
- "Number of Catholics on the Rise". Zenit News Agency. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.. For greater details on numbers of Catholics and priests and their distribution by continent and for changes between 2000 and 2008, see "Annuario Statistico della Chiesa dell'anno 2008". Holy See Press Office. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010. (in Italian)
- Code of Canon Law, canon 11. Retrieved 9 March 2008
- "– Vatican: Islam Surpasses Roman Catholicism as World's Largest Religion – International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News". Foxnews.com. 30 March 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- The Future of the Global Muslim Population
- Staff (May 2007). "The List: The World’s Fastest-Growing Religions". Foreign Policy (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace).
- "GROWTH RATE OF CHRISTIANITY & ISLAM Which will be the dominant religion in the future?".
- "The List: The World's Fastest-Growing Religions". Foreign Policy (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). May 2007.
- "What is the fastest growing religion in the world? A Secularist Evaluation.". FastestGrowingReligion.tk. 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
- "2006 Gallup survey". San Diego Times. May 2, 2006.
- "Polish lead EU in Sunday church attendance".
- "'One in 10' attends church weekly  publisher = BBC News".
- NCLS releases latest estimates of church attendance, National Church Life Survey, Media release,
- NorgeIDAG – Hvor mange aktive kristne finnes i Norge?
- Religious Demographic Profiles – Pew Forum[dead link]
- Religions in Canada—Census 2001[dead link]
- Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar (2009). "AMERICAN RELIGIOUS IDENTIFICATION SURVEY (ARIS) 2008" (PDF). Hartford, Connecticut, USA: Trinity College. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
- 160,000 Have Converted Out of Hinduism in Malaysia in 25 Years
- Religions in Mongolia
- Better-educated S'pore residents look to religion
- Pew Forum – Presidential Election in South Korea Highlights Influence of Christian Community
- "Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2005 – Vietnam". U.S. Department of State. 30 June 2005. Retrieved 11 March 2007.
- Statistics Norway
- Graphical view at evolution of population by continent
- Countries with highest population for 1950, 2010 and 2050