List of countries by irreligion

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Irreligion, which may include deism, agnosticism, ignosticism, anti-religion, atheism, skepticism, ietsism, spiritual but not religious, freethought, anti-theism, apatheism, non-belief, pandeism, secular humanism, non-religious theism, pantheism panentheism, and New age varies in the countries around the world. According to reports from the Worldwide Independent Network/Gallup International Association's (WIN/GIA) four global polls: in 2005, 77% were a religious person and 4% were "convinced atheists"; in 2012, 23% were not a religious person and 13% were "convinced atheists";[2] in 2015, 22% were not a religious person and 11% were "convinced atheists";[3] and in 2017, 25% were not a religious person and 9% were "convinced atheists".[4] The Pew Research Centre uses "religiously unaffiliated" to "include atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion in surveys"; of that overall category, many may still hold some religious beliefs and some engage in religious practices as well.[5]

According to sociologist Phil Zuckerman, broad estimates of those who have an absence of belief in a god range from 500 to 750 million people worldwide.[6] According to sociologists Ariela Keysar and Juhem Navarro-Rivera's review of numerous global studies on atheism, there are 450 to 500 million positive atheists and agnostics worldwide (7% of the world's population), with China having the most atheists in the world (200 million convinced atheists).[7]

Differences in questions asked in polls[edit]

Each poll uses different questions and methods:-

The numbers come from different years, and might not be accurate for countries with governments that require or urge religion or secularism.

Countries and regions[edit]

The Pew Research Centre data in the table below reflects "religiously unaffiliated" which "include atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion in surveys".

The WIN-Gallup International Association (WIN/GIA) poll results below are the totals for "not a religious person" and "a convinced atheist" combined. Keysar et al. have advised caution with WIN/Gallup International figures since more extensive surveys which have used the same wording for decades and have bigger sample sizes, have consistently reached lower figures than the numbers in the table below. For example, the WIN/GIA numbers from China were overestimated which in turn inflated global totals.[7]

The Zuckerman data on the table below only reflect the number of people who have an absence of belief in a deity only (atheists, agnostics). Does not include the broader number of people who do not identify with a religion such as deists, spiritual but not religious, pantheists, New Age spiritualism, etc.

Country or region Pew[8]
(2012)
WIN/GIA[9]
(2017)
WIN/GIA[3]
(2015)
WIN/GIA[10][11]
(2012)
Dentsu[12]
(2006)
Zuckerman[6]
(2004)
 Afghanistan (details) < 0.1 % 9% 15%
 Albania (details) 1.4% 39% 8%
 Argentina 12.2% 34% 20% 26% 13% 4–8%
 Armenia 1.3% 6% 5% 5% 34%
 Australia (details) 24.2 63% 58% 58% 24–25%
 Austria 13.5% 53% 54% 53% 12% 18–26%
 Azerbaijan (details) < 0.1% 64% 54% 51%
 Bangladesh (details) < 0.1% 19% 5%
 Belarus 28.6% 48% 17%
 Belgium (details) 29% 64% 48% 34% 35% 42–43%
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2.5% 22% 32% 29%
 Brazil (details) 7.9% 17% 18% 14%
 Bulgaria (details) 4.2% 39% 39% 30% 30% 34–40%
 Cameroon 5.3% 17%
 Canada (details) 23.7% 57% 53% 49% 26% 19–30%
 Chile 8.6% 34%
 China (details) 52.2% 90% 90% 77% 93% 8–14%
 Colombia 6.6% 14% 17% 15%
 DR Congo 1.8% 17%
 Croatia (details) 5.1% 13% 7%
 Cuba 23% 7%
 Czech Republic (details) 76.4% 72% 75% 78% 64% 54–61%
 Denmark (details) 11.8% 61% 52% 10% 43–80%
 Dominican Republic 10.9% 7%
 Ecuador 5.5% 18% 28% 29%
 Estonia (details) 59.6% 60% 76% 49%
 Fiji 0.8% 8% 7% 6%
 Finland (details) 17.6% 55% 42% 44% 12% 28–60%
 France (details) 28% 50% 53% 63% 43% 43–54%
 Georgia (details) 0.7% 7% 13%
 Germany (details) 24.7% 60% 59% 48% 25% 41–49%
 Ghana (details) 4.2% 1% 2%
 Greece 6.1% 22% 21% 4% 16%
 Hong Kong 56.1% 63% 70% 60%
 Hungary 18.6% 43% 32–46%
 Iceland (details) 3.5% 49% 44% 41% 4% 16–23%
 India (details) < 0.1% 5% 23% 16% 7% 9.11%
 Indonesia (details) < 0.1% 30% 15%
 Iran (details) 0.1% 20% 1%
 Iraq (details) 0.1% 34% 9%
 Ireland (details) 6.2% 56% 51% 54% 7%
 Israel (details) 3.1% 58% 65% 15–37%
 Italy (details) 12.4% 26% 24% 23% 18% 6–15%
 Japan (details) 57% 60% 62% 62% 52% 64–65%
 Kazakhstan (details) 4.2% 11–12%
 Kenya (details) 2.5% 9% 11%
 Kosovo 1.6% 3% 8%
 Kyrgyzstan 0.4% 7%
 Latvia 43.8% 52% 50% 41% 20–29%
 Lebanon (details) 0.3% 28% 18% 35%
 Lithuania 10% 40% 23% 19% 13%
 Luxembourg 26.8% 30%
 Malaysia 0.7% 23% 13%
 Malta 2.5% 1%
 Mexico (details) 4.7% 36% 28%
 Moldova 1.4% 10%
 Mongolia 35.9% 29% 9%
 Morocco (details) < 0.1% 5%
 Netherlands (details) 42.1% 66% 56% 55% 39–44%
 New Zealand (details) 36.6% 20–22%
 Nigeria (details) 0.4% 2% 16% 5% 1%
 North Korea 71.3% 15%
 North Macedonia 11% 10% 9%
 Norway (details) 10.1% 62% 31–72%
 Pakistan (details) < 0.1% 6% 11% 10%
 Palestinian territories < 0.1% 35% 19% 33%
 Panama 4.8% 13%
 Papua New Guinea < 0.1% 5% 4%
 Peru (details) 3% 23% 13% 11% 5%
 Philippines (details) 0.1% 9% 22% 11%
 Poland (details) 5.6% 10% 12% 14% 5%
 Portugal 4.4% 38% 37% 11% 4–9%
 Puerto Rico 1.9% 11%
 Romania (details) 0.1% 9% 17% 7% 2%
 Russia (details) 16.2% 30% 23% 32% 48% 24–48%
 Saudi Arabia (details) 0.7% 24%
 Serbia 3.3% 21% 21% 19%
 Singapore (details) 16.4% 13%
 Slovakia 14.3% 23% 10–28%
 Slovenia 18% 53% 30% 35–38%
 South Africa (details) 14.9% 32% 11%
 South Korea (details) 46.4% 60% 55% 46% 37% 30–52%
 South Sudan 1% 16%
 Spain (details) 19% 57% 55% 47% 16% 15–24%
 Sweden (details) 27% 73% 76% 58% 25% 46–85%
  Switzerland (details) 11.9% 58% 47% 17–27%
 Taiwan 12.7% 24%
 Tanzania 1.4% 2%
 Thailand 0.3% 2% 2%
 Tunisia 0.2% 33%
 Turkey (details) 1.2% 15% 75% (anomalous) 3%
 Uganda (details) 0.5% 1%
 Ukraine 14.7% 42% 24% 23% 42% 20%
 United Kingdom (details) 21.3% 69% 66% 31–44%
 United States (details) 16.4% 39% 39% 35% 20% 3–9%
 Uruguay (details) 40.7% 12%
 Uzbekistan 0.8% 18%
 Venezuela 10% 2% 27%
 Vietnam 29.6% 63% 54% 65% 46% 81%

By population[edit]

The Pew Research Centre in the table below reflects "religiously unaffiliated" which "include atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion in surveys".

The Zuckerman data on the table below only reflect the number of people who have an absence of belief in a deity only (atheists, agnostics). Does not include the broader number of people who do not identify with a religion such as deists, spiritual but not religious, pantheists, New Age spiritualism, etc.

Country Pew (2012)[13] Zuckerman (2004) [14][15]
 China 700,680,000 103,907,840 – 181,838,720
 India 102,870,000
 Japan 72,120,000 81,493,120 – 82,766,450
 Vietnam 26,040,000 66,978,900
 Russia 23,180,000 34,507,680 – 69,015,360
 Germany 20,350,000 33,794,250 – 40,388,250
 France 17,580,000 25,982,320 – 32,628,960
 United Kingdom 18,684,010 – 26,519,240
 South Korea 22,350,000 14,579,400 – 25,270,960
 Ukraine 9,546,400
 United States 50,980,000 8,790,840 – 26,822,520
 Netherlands 6,364,020 – 7,179,920
 Canada 6,176,520 – 9,752,400
 Spain 6,042,150 – 9,667,440
 Taiwan 5,460,000
 Hong Kong 5,240,000
 Czech Republic 5,328,940 – 6,250,121
 Australia 4,779,120 – 4,978,250
 Belgium 4,346,160 – 4,449,640
 Sweden 4,133,560 – 7,638,100
 Italy 3,483,420 – 8,708,550
 North Korea 17,350,000 3,404,700
 Hungary 3,210,240 – 4,614,720
 Bulgaria 2,556,120 – 3,007,200
 Denmark 2,327,590 – 4,330,400
 Turkey 1,956,990 - 6,320,550
 Belarus 1,752,870
 Greece 1,703,680
 Kazakhstan 1,665,840 – 1,817,280
 Argentina 1,565,800 – 3,131,600
 Austria 1,471,500 – 2,125,500
 Finland 1,460,200 – 3,129,000
 Norway 1,418,250 – 3,294,000
  Switzerland 1,266,670 – 2,011,770
 Israel 929,850 – 2,293,630
 New Zealand 798,800 – 878,680
 Cuba 791,630
 Slovenia 703,850 – 764,180
 Estonia 657,580
 Dominican Republic 618,380
 Singapore 566,020
 Slovakia 542,400 – 1,518,720
 Lithuania 469,040
 Latvia 461,200 – 668,740
 Portugal 420,960 – 947,160
 Armenia 118,740
 Uruguay 407,880
 Kyrgyzstan 355,670
 Croatia 314,790
 Albania 283,600
 Mongolia 247,590
 Iceland 47,040 – 67,620
 Brazil 15,410,000

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Religious Composition by Country, 2010-2050". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Global Index of Religion and Atheism" (PDF). WIN/Gallup International. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Losing our Religion? Two-Thirds of People Still Claim to be Religious" (PDF). WIN/Gallup International. WIN/Gallup International. 13 April 2015.
  4. ^ (PDF). 14 November 2017 https://web.archive.org/web/20171114113506/http://www.wingia.com/web/files/news/370/file/370.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Religiously Unaffiliated". The Global Religious Landscape. Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life. 18 December 2012. The religiously unaffiliated include atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion in surveys. However, many of the religiously unaffiliated have some religious beliefs...Some of the unaffiliated also engage in certain kinds of religious practices.
  6. ^ a b Zuckerman, Phil (2006). "Atheism: Contemporary Numbers and Patterns". In Martin, Michael (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 47–66. ISBN 9780521842709.
  7. ^ a b Keysar, Ariela; Navarro-Rivera, Juhem (2017). "36. A World of Atheism: Global Demographics". In Bullivant, Stephen; Ruse, Michael (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199644650.
  8. ^ "Global Religious Landscape" (PDF). Pew Research Center. 18 December 2012. p. 45-50.
  9. ^ (PDF). 14 November 2017 https://web.archive.org/web/20171114113506/http://www.wingia.com/web/files/news/370/file/370.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "WIN-Gallup International 'Religiosity and Atheism Index' reveals atheists are a small minority in the early years of 21st century". WIN-Gallup International. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  11. ^ "GLOBAL INDEX OF RELIGIOSITY AND ATHEISM – 2012" (PDF). WIN-Gallup International. 27 July 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  12. ^ Dentsu Communication Institute 電通総研・日本リサーチセンター編「世界60カ国価値観データブック (in Japanese)
  13. ^ "Religiously Unaffiliated". 18 December 2012.
  14. ^ "The Cambridge Companion to Atheism - PDF Drive".
  15. ^ "81-F77-Aeb-A404-447-C-8-B95-Dd57-Adc11-E98".