Christian population growth

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Christian population growth is the population growth of the global Christian community. According to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey, there were 2.19 billion Christians around the world in 2010, more than three times as many as the 600 million recorded in 1910. However, this rate of growth is slower than the overall population growth over the same time period.[1] According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, by 2050, the Christian population is expected to be 3.0 billion.[2]

The average Christian fertility rate is 2.7 children per woman, which is higher than the global average fertility rate of 2.5. Globally, Christians were only slightly older (median age of 30) than the global average median age of 28 in 2010. According to Pew Research religious switching is projected to have a modest impact on changes in the Christian population.[3] According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, approximately 2.7 million converting to Christianity annually from another religion, World Christian Encyclopedia also cited that Christianity rank at first place in net gains through religious conversion.[4] While according to "The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion", approximately 15.5 million converting to Christianity annually from another religion, while approximately 11.7 million leave Christianity annually, and most of them become irreligious, resulting in a net gain of 3.8 million.[5] Christianity adds about 65.1 million people annually due to factors such as birth rate, religious conversion and migration, while losing 27.4 million people annually due to factors such as death rate, religious apostasy and immigration. Most of the net growth in the numbers of Christians is in Africa, Latin America and Asia.[6]

Summary[edit]

Demographics of major traditions within Christianity (Pew Research Center, 2010 data)[7]
Tradition Followers % of the Christian population % of the world population Follower dynamics Dynamics in- and outside Christianity
Catholic Church 1,094,610,000 50.1 15.9 Increase Growing Steady Stable
Protestantism 800,640,000 36.7 11.6 Increase Growing Increase Growing
Orthodoxy 260,380,000 11.9 3.8 Decrease Shrinking Decrease Shrinking
Other Christianity 28,430,000 1.3 0.4 Increase Growing Decrease Shrinking
Christianity 2,184,060,000 100 31.7 Steady Stable Steady Stable

Christian fertility rate is 2.7 children per woman, which is higher than the global average fertility rate of 2.5. Globally, Christians were only slightly older (median age of 30) than the global average median age of 28 in 2010. According to Pew Research religious switching is projected to have a modest impact on changes in the Christian population.[3]

According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, approximately 2.7 million converting to Christianity annually from another religion, World Christian Encyclopedia also cited that Christianity rank at first place in net gains through religious conversion.[8] While according to "The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion", approximately 15.5 million converting to Christianity annually from another religion, while approximately 11.7 million leave Christianity annually, and most of them become irreligious, resulting in a net gain of 3.8 million.[9] Christianity earns about 65.1 million people annually due to factors such as birth rate, religious conversion and migration, while losing 27.4 million people annually due to factors such as death rate, religious apostasy and immigration. Most of the net growth in the numbers of Christians is in Africa, Latin America and Asia.[10]

Fertility rate[edit]

The Christian fertility rate has varied throughout history, as with other fertility figures. The Christian fertility rate also varies from country to country. In the 20-year period from 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%. While Muslims have an average of 3.1 children per woman—the highest rate of all religious groups—Christians are second, with 2.7 children per woman.[2]

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 2050.[2]

Country Fertility rate
(2005–2010)
(births/woman)[11]
Percent Christian
 Ecuador 2.58 94%
 East Timor 6.53 99%
 Armenia 1.39 98.6%
 Equatorial Guinea 5.36 92%
 Moldova 1.40 95.3%
 Venezuela 2.55 88.0%
 Greece 1.33 90%

Conversion[edit]

By branches[edit]

Roman Catholic Church[edit]

  • Church membership in 2007 was 1.147 billion people[59] (17% of the global population at the time), increasing from the 1950 figure of 437 million[60] and 654 million in 1970.[61][62] On 31 December 2008, membership was 1.166 billion, an increase of 11.54% over the same date in 2000,[63][63] and slightly greater than the rate of increase of the world population (10.77%). The increase was 33.02% in Africa,[63] but only 1.17% in Europe. It was 15.91% in Asia, 11.39% in Oceania, and 10.93% in Americas.[63] 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%. However, Catholic numbers have grown in Scandinavia where the Catholics in Nordic dioceses have tripled or even quadrupled. For example, in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, 330,000 Catholics have now registered in their dioceses.[64] [65] Membership of the Catholic Church is attained through baptism,[66] and 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,[67], though Africa and parts of Asia are the exception. If the UN report in 2018 is on target, Africa's population will grow to 4.5 billion by 2100, adding to all African religious groups.[68] 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.[69] The global Catholic population is projected to grow to 1.63 billion in 2050,[70] but by that time Islam will have nearly 3 billion adherents.

Eastern Orthodoxy[edit]

Protestantism[edit]

By country[edit]

  • 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 growths.[94]
  • 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%.[95]
  • 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 reasons.[96]
  • 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.[97]
  • According to 2011 Pew Research Center survey, there are 2.18 billion Christians around the world in 2010, up from about 600 million in 1910.[1]
  • According to 2015 Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census study estimates 10,283,700 Muslim converted to Christianity around the world.[87]
  • On April 2, 2015, the Pew Research Center published a Demographic Study about “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050" with projections regarding Christianity.[98] The projection begins with 2010 statistics when "Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31%) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth. Islam was second, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23% of the global population.”[98]
Projected growth of Christianity by 2050
Some of the projections are as follows:[99]
  1. Over the 2010-2050 period, Christians will remain the largest religious group with 30.7% of the world’s population. However, Islam will grow faster and become 29.7% of the world’s population. Therefore, by 2050 there will be 2.8 billion Muslims compared to 2.9 billion Christians.
  2. “In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050.”
  3. “Four out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Reasons given for the projected growth
Some of the reasons the Study gives are as follows:[98]
  1. The change in the world’s religious is “driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths.”
  2. Fertility rates. “Religions with many adherents in developing countries, where birth rates are high, and infant mortality rates generally have been falling, are likely to grow quickly.” Therefore, much of the growth of Christianity is projected to take place in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, Christians have a birth rate of 2.7 children per woman. But Muslims have a higher rate, namely, an average of 3.1 children per woman. This differential is one of the reasons that the Muslim population is growing faster than the Christian.
  3. Size of youth population. “In 2010, more than a quarter of the world’s total population (27%) was under the age of 15.” Christian youth under 15 were the same as the 27% global average. But an even higher percentage of Muslims (34%) were younger than 15. This higher youth population is one of the reasons that from 2010-2050 Muslims are projected to grow faster than Christians.
  4. Size of old population. In 2010, “11% of the world’s population was at least 60 years old,” 14% of the Christian population was over 60 years old, but only 7% of Muslims were over 60. This is another reason that Muslims are projected to grow faster than Christians.
  5. Switching. A loss of 66 million Christians is projected to come through switching. Most of the loss is projected to come from Christians “joining the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated.”
The whole Pew Research Center can be read by clicking The Future of World Religions.

Africa[edit]

  • Christianity has been estimated[1] to be growing rapidly in South America, Africa, and Asia.[82] In Africa, for instance, in 1900, there were only 8.7 million[1] adherents of Christianity; now there are 390 million,[1] and it is expected that by 2025 there will be 600 million Christians in Africa.[1] The number of Catholics in Africa has increased from one million in 1902 to 329,882,000.[1] From 2015 to 2016 alone, Africa saw an increase of 49,767,000 Catholics, a larger increase than any other continent.[100] There are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people.[citation needed]
  • A 2015 study estimates 2,161,000 Muslim Africans that convert to Christianity.[87]

Algeria Algeria[edit]

  • Converts to Christianity may be investigated and searched by the authorities.[101] Conversions to Christianity have been most common in Kabylie, especially in the wilaya of Tizi-Ouzou.[102]
  • A 2015 study estimates 380,000 Muslims converted to Christianity in Algeria.[87]

Egypt Egypt[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimates some 14,000 Muslims who converted to Christianity in Egypt.[103]

Ethiopia Ethiopia[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimates 400,000 Muslims converted to Christianity in Ethiopia.[87]

Libya Libya[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimate some 1,500 believers in Christ from a Muslim background living in the country.[104]

Morocco Morocco[edit]

  • On 27 March 2010, the Moroccan magazine TelQuel stated that thousands of Moroccans had converted to Christianity. Pointing out the absence of official data, Service de presse Common Ground, cites unspecified sources that stated that about 5,000 Moroccans became Christians between 2005 and 2010.[105] According to the International Religious Freedom Report for 2014 estimate that there may be as many as 8,000 Christian citizens throughout the country, but many reportedly do not meet regularly due to fear of government surveillance and social persecution.[106]
  • According to different estimates, there are about 25,000-45,000 Moroccan Christians of Berber or Arab descent mostly converted from Islam.[citation needed] Other sources give a number of a bit more than 1,000.[107] A popular Christian program by Brother Rachid has led many former Muslims in North Africa and the Middle East to convert to Christianity. His programs have been credited with assisting in the conversion of over 150,000 former Muslims to Christianity in Morocco.[108]

Nigeria Nigeria[edit]

  • The percentage of Christians in Nigeria grew from 21.4% in 1953 to 48.2% in 2003.[56] This is due to the high number of missionaries in Nigeria.
  • ِA 2015 study estimates some 600,000 believers in Christ are from a Muslim background living in Nigeria.[109]

South Africa South Africa[edit]

Tunisia Tunisia[edit]

  • International Religious Freedom Report for 2007 estimate thousands of Tunisian Muslims who convert to Christianity.[36]

Asia[edit]

Afghanistan Afghanistan[edit]

Azerbaijan Azerbaijan[edit]

Bangladesh Bangladesh[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimates some 130,000 Christians from a Muslim background residing in the Bangladesh, though not all are necessarily citizens.[29]

China China[edit]

  • In recent years, the number of Chinese Christians has increased significantly, particularly since the easing of restrictions on religious activity during economic reforms in the late 1970s; Christians were 4 million before 1949 (3 million Catholics and 1 million Protestants), and are reaching 67 million today.[1][57] Various statistical analyses have found that between 2% and 4% of the Chinese identify as Christian.
  • Christianity is reportedly the fastest growing religion in China with average annual rate of 7%.[112]

India India[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimates some 40,000 Christian believers from a Muslim background in the country, most of them belonging to some form of Protestantism.[113]

Indonesia Indonesia[edit]

  • According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, between 1965-1985 about 2.5 million Indonesian converted from Islam to Christianity.[114]
  • According to Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census study found that between 1960-2015 about 6.5 million Indonesian Muslims convert to Christianity.[87]
  • Some reports also show that many of the Chinese Indonesians minority convert to Christianity.[115][116] Demographer Aris Ananta reported in 2008 that "anecdotal evidence suggests that more Buddhist Chinese have become Christians as they increased their standards of education".[117]

Iran Iran[edit]

  • Christianity is reportedly the fastest growing religion in Iran with an average annual rate of 5.2%.[118] A 2015 study estimates between 100,000 and 500,000 believers Christians from a Muslim background living in Iran, most of them evangelical Christians.[119]

Israel Israel[edit]

  • Several thousand Israelis practice Messianic Jewish denominations, which are often considered as Christian sects. The Messianic Jews usually combine Jewish and Christian practices, but do recognize Jesus as the Messiah. There are no exact numbers on those communities, but it is believed that several hundred to several thousand ethnic Jews belong to this tradition as well as several thousand Israelis of mixed ancestry (mostly mixed Jewish and Slavic).
  • The Christian population in Israel has increased significantly with the immigration of many mixed families from the former Soviet Union (1989-late 1990s).
  • A 2015 study estimates some 300 Christians from a Muslim background in Israel.

Japan Japan[edit]

  • Christianity is one of several minority religions in Japan, accounting for about 0.5 percent of the population.[120][121][122]

Jordan Jordan[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimates some 6,500 Christian believers from a Muslim background in the country, most of them belonging to some form of Protestantism.[123]

Kazakhstan Kazakhstan[edit]

  • In spite of persecution of converts from Islam to Christianity, a 2015 study estimates some 50,000 believers in Christ from a Muslim background residing in the country. [124]

Kuwait Kuwait[edit]

  • There are a number of believers in Christ from a Muslim background in the country, though many are not citizens. A 2015 study estimates that around 350 people in the country follow these beliefs. [125]

Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimates some 19,000 Christians from a Muslim background residing in the country, though not all are necessarily citizens of Kyrgyzstan. [126]

Malaysia Malaysia[edit]

  • According to a Hindu organization,[which?] 130,000 people[verification needed] converted from Hinduism to Christianity between 1965 and 1990. Around 97,000 joined the Methodist Church and the rest mostly joined various Protestant denominations, with 2,500 joining the Catholic Church.[127][unreliable source?]
  • There is no well researched agreement on the actual number of Malaysian Muslim converts to Christianity in Malaysia.[30] But according to Tan Sri Dr Harussani Zakaria, they are 260,000.[30]

Mongolia Mongolia[edit]

Oman Oman[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimates a mere 200 believers in Christ from a Muslim background in the country, and not all of those are necessarily citizens[129]

Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia[edit]

A 2015 study estimates 60,000 Muslims converted to Christianity in Saudi Arabia.[87]

Singapore Singapore[edit]

  • The percentage of Christians among Singaporeans increased from 12.7% in 1990 to 17.5% in 2010.[130]

South Korea South Korea[edit]

  • In South Korea, Christianity has grown from 20.7% in 1985 to 29.5% in 2005 according to the World Christian Database.[110][131]

Syria Syria[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimates some 2,000 Muslims who converted to Christianity in Syria, most of them belonging to some form of Protestantism.[132]

Tajikistan Tajikistan[edit]

  • In spite of opposition in relation to conversion from Islam to Christianity, a 2015 study estimates some 2,600 Christians with Muslim backgrounds reside in the country. [133]

Turkey Turkey[edit]

Uzbekistan Uzbekistan[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimates some 10,000 believers in Christ from a Muslim background in the country, most of them belonging to some sort of evangelical or charismatic Protestant community.[141]

Vietnam Vietnam[edit]

Europe[edit]

Albania Albania[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimated some 13,000 followers of Christ from a Muslim background, though it is not clear to which Christian churches these people had converted. [143]

Belgium Belgium[edit]

  • Reports estimated that "many" Muslims convert every year to Christianity in Belgium.[18]

Bulgaria Bulgaria[edit]

  • Reports estimated that thousands of Muslims (mostly Bulgarian Turks) convert every year to Christianity in Bulgaria.[19][20] A 2015 study estimates 45,000 Christian believers from a Muslim background in the country, most of them belonging to some form of Protestantism.[113]

Denmark Denmark[edit]

  • There are around 4,000 Christians who have converted from a Muslim background in the country, most of them belonging to some form of Protestantism.[144]

France France[edit]

  • Protestants have increased as a percentage of total population from 1% in 1987 to 3% in 2009.[145]
  • Reports form Le Monde estimated that 15,000 Muslims convert every year to Christianity.[21]

Germany Germany[edit]

  • Reports estimated that thousands of Muslims convert every year to Christianity in Germany.[22]

Kosovo Kosovo[edit]

  • Reports estimated that hundreds of Muslims convert every year to Christianity in Kosovo.[146]

Norway Norway[edit]

Netherlands Netherlands[edit]

  • Reports estimated that 4,500 Muslims have converted to Christianity in the Netherlands.[33]

Russia Russia[edit]

  • According to Roman Silantyev the executive secretary of the Inter-religious Council in Russia, about 2 million Muslims in Russia have converted to Christianity between during the last fifteen years while only 2,500 Russians converted to Islam.[34]
  • According to a 2012 study, 17% of Jews in Russia identify themselves as Christians.[50][51]

Sweden Sweden[edit]

  • In recent years a number of Swedish Muslims have converted from Islam to the Church of Sweden, most noticeably by Iranians, but also by Arabs and Pakistanis. [148]

United Kingdom United Kingdom[edit]

  • A 2015 study estimated some 25,000 believers in Christ from a Muslim background, most of whom belong to an evangelical or Pentecostal community. [149]

Americas[edit]

Argentina Argentina[edit]

A 2015 study estimates some 2,200 Christian believers from a Muslim background in the country, most of them belonging to some form of Protestantism. [150]

Data from 2013, show that 64,000 Argentine Jews identify themselves as Christians. [151]

Canada Canada[edit]

According to the 1991/2001/2011-Census, the number of Christians in Canada has decreased from 22.5 million to 22.1 million.

A 2015 study estimates some 43,000 believers in Christ from a Muslim background in Canada, most of whom belong to the evangelical tradition. [152]

Mexico Mexico[edit]

According to INEGI,The number of Catholics grows annually by 1.7%. [153]

United States United States[edit]

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.

Among the Asian population in the United States, conversion into Christianity is significantly increasing among Korean, Chinese, and Japanese.[154] By 2012 the percentage of Christians in these communities was 71%, 31%, and 38% respectively.[55]

Data from the Pew Research Center states that, as of 2013, about 1.6 million adult American Jews identify themselves as Christians, most as Protestants.[46][47][48] According to the same data, most of the Jews who identify themselves as some sort of Christian (1.6 million) were raised as Jew or are Jews by ancestry.[47]

According to Pew Research, Christianity loses more people than it gains from religious conversion. It found that 23% of Americans raised as Christians no longer identified with Christianity, whereas 6% of current Christians were converts.[155] This was in contrast to Islam in America, where the number of people who leave the religion is roughly equal to the number who convert to it.[155] The National Catholic Register claims that in 2015 there were 450,000 American Muslim converts to Christianity and that 20,000 Muslims convert to Christianity annually in the United States.[156]

Religious Self-Identification of the U.S. Adult Population: 1990, 2001, 2008[157]
Figures are not adjusted for refusals to reply; investigators suspect refusals are possibly more representative of "no religion" than any other group.

Source:ARIS 2008[157]
Group
1990
adults
x 1,000
2001
adults
x 1,000
2008
adults
x 1,000

Numerical
Change
1990–
2008
as %
of 1990
1990
% of
adults
2001
% of
adults
2008
% of
adults
change
in % of
total
adults
1990–
2008
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%
Total Christian 151,225 159,514 173,402 14.7% 86.2% 76.7% 76.0% −10.2%
Catholic 46,004 50,873 57,199 24.3% 26.2% 24.5% 25.1% −1.2%
non-Catholic Christian 105,221 108,641 116,203 10.4% 60.0% 52.2% 50.9% −9.0%
Baptist 33,964 33,820 36,148 6.4% 19.4% 16.3% 15.8% −3.5%
Mainline Christian 32,784 35,788 29,375 −10.4% 18.7% 17.2% 12.9% −5.8%
Methodist 14,174 14,039 11,366 −19.8% 8.1% 6.8% 5.0% −3.1%
Lutheran 9,110 9,580 8,674 −4.8% 5.2% 4.6% 3.8% −1.4%
Presbyterian 4,985 5,596 4,723 −5.3% 2.8% 2.7% 2.1% −0.8%
Episcopalian/Anglican 3,043 3,451 2,405 −21.0% 1.7% 1.7% 1.1% −0.7%
United Church of Christ 438 1,378 736 68.0% 0.2% 0.7% 0.3% 0.1%
Christian Generic 25,980 22,546 32,441 24.9% 14.8% 10.8% 14.2% −0.6%
Christian Unspecified 8,073 14,190 16,384 102.9% 4.6% 6.8% 7.2% 2.6%
Non-denominational Christian 194 2,489 8,032 4040.2% 0.1% 1.2% 3.5% 3.4%
Protestant – Unspecified 17,214 4,647 5,187 −69.9% 9.8% 2.2% 2.3% −7.5%
Evangelical/Born Again 546 1,088 2,154 294.5% 0.3% 0.5% 0.9% 0.6%
Pentecostal/Charismatic 5,647 7,831 7,948 40.7% 3.2% 3.8% 3.5% 0.3%
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%
Seventh-Day Adventist 668 724 938 40.4% 0.4% 0.3% 0.4% 0.0%
Jehovah's Witnesses 1,381 1,331 1,914 38.6% 0.8% 0.6% 0.8% 0.1%
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%
Jewish 3,137 2,837 2,680 −14.6% 1.8% 1.4% 1.2% −0.6%
Eastern Religions 687 2,020 1,961 185.4% 0.4% 1.0% 0.9% 0.5%
Buddhist 404 1,082 1,189 194.3% 0.2% 0.5% 0.5% 0.3%
Muslim 527 1,104 1,349 156.0% 0.3% 0.5% 0.6% 0.3%
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%
Agnostic+Atheist 1,186 1,893 3,606 204.0% 0.7% 0.9% 1.6% 0.9%
Did Not Know/ Refused to reply 4,031 11,300 11,815 193.1% 2.3% 5.4% 5.2% 2.9%

Highlights:[157]

  1. 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.
  2. 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 United States does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion.
  3. 34% of American adults considered themselves "Born Again or Evangelical Christians" in 2008.
  4. 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.
  5. One sign of the lack of attachment of Americans to religion is that 27% do not expect a religious funeral at their death.
  6. 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).
  7. 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%.
  8. 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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Pewforum: Christianity (2010)" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-05-14.
  2. ^ a b c The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050
  3. ^ a b c d "The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050".
  4. ^ David B. Barrett; George Thomas Kurian; Todd M. Johnson, eds. (15 February 2001). World Christian Encyclopedia p.360. Oxford University Press USA. ISBN 0195079639.
  5. ^ Lewis Ray Rambo; Charles E. Farhadian, eds. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion p.59. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195338522.
  6. ^ Lewis Ray Rambo; Charles E. Farhadian, eds. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion p.59. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195338522.
  7. ^ "Global Christianity – A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population". 19 December 2011.
  8. ^ David B. Barrett; George Thomas Kurian; Todd M. Johnson, eds. (15 February 2001). World Christian Encyclopedia p.360. Oxford University Press USA. ISBN 0195079639.
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