List of religious populations

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Main category: Religious demographics

Adherent estimates in 2012

Size of Major Religious Groups, 2012
Religion Percent
Christianity
  
31.5%
Islam
  
23.2%
Unaffiliated
  
16.3%
Hinduism
  
15.0%
Buddhism *
  
7.1%
Folk
  
5.9%
Other
  
0.8%
Judaism
  
0.2%
Pew Research Center, 2012[1]

Adherents.com says "Sizes shown are approximate estimates, and are here mainly for the purpose of ordering the groups, not providing a definitive number".[2]

Religion Adherents Percentage
Christianity 2.2 billion[3] 31.50%
Islam 1.6 billion[4] 22.32%
Secular[a]/Nonreligious[b]/Agnostic/Atheist ≤1.1 billion 15.35%
Hinduism 1 billion 13.95%
Chinese traditional religion[c] 394 million 5.50%
Buddhism 376 million 5.25%
Ethnic religions excluding some in separate categories 300 million 4.19%
African traditional religions 100 million 1.40%
Sikhism 23 million 0.32%
Spiritism 15 million 0.21%
Judaism 14 million 0.20%
Bahá'í 7.0 million 0.10%
Jainism 4.2 million 0.06%
Shinto 4.0 million 0.06%
Cao Dai 4.0 million 0.06%
Zoroastrianism 2.6 million 0.04%
Tenrikyo 2.0 million 0.02%
Neo-Paganism 1.0 million 0.01%
Unitarian Universalism 0.8 million 0.01%
Rastafarianism 0.6 million 0.01%
total 7167 million 100%

Notes

  1. ^ These figures may incorporate populations of secular/nominal adherents as well as syncretist worshipers, although the concept of syncretism is disputed by some.
  2. ^ Nonreligious includes agnostic, atheist, secular humanist, and people answering 'none' or no religious preference. Half of this group is theistic but nonreligious.[2] According to a 2012 study by Gallup International "59% of the world said that they think of themselves as religious person, 23% think of themselves as not religious whereas 13% think of themselves as convinced atheists".[5]
  3. ^ Chinese traditional religion is described as "the common religion of the majority Chinese culture: a combination of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, as well as the traditional non-scriptural/local practices and beliefs."

By proportion

Christians

Countries with the greatest proportion of Christians from Christianity by country (as of 2010):

  1.   Vatican City 100% (100% Roman Catholic)
  2.  Pitcairn Islands 100% (100% Seventh-day Adventist)[6]
  3.  Samoa ~99%[7]
  4.  Romania 99% (mostly Romanian Orthodox)
  5.  American Samoa 98.3%[8]
  6.  Malta 98.1%[9] (mostly Roman Catholic)
  7.  Venezuela 98%[10] (96% Roman Catholic)
  8.  Greece 98% [11] (95% Greek Orthodox)
  9.  Marshall Islands 97.2%[12]
  10.  Tonga 97.2%[13]
  11.  San Marino 97%[14] (~97% Roman Catholic)
  12.  Paraguay 96.9%[15] (mostly Roman Catholic)
  13.  Peru 96.5%[16] (mostly Roman Catholic)
  14.  El Salvador 96.4%[17]
  15.  Kiribati 96%[18]
  16.  Federated States of Micronesia ~96%[19]
  17.  Barbados 95.1%[20]
  18.  Papua New Guinea 94.8%[21]
  19.  East Timor 94.2%[22][23]
  20.  Armenia 93.5%[24] (mostly Armenian Orthodox)

Muslims

Countries with the greatest proportion of Muslims from Islam by country (as of 2010) (figures excluding foreign workers in parenthesis):

  1.  Saudi Arabia 100 %[25] (90–95% Sunni, 5–10% Shi'a[25])
  2.  Maldives 100% (mostly Sunni)[26]
  3.  Mauritania 100% (mostly Sunni)
  4.  Turkey 99.8% (75% Sunni, 25% Shi'a)[27]
  5.  Somalia 99.8% (mostly Sunni)[28]
  6.  Afghanistan ~99%[29] (mostly Sunni, 20% Shi'a)[30]
  7.  Yemen 99.1% (99.9%) (53% Sunni, 47% Shi'a[31])
  8.  Morocco 98.7% (mostly Sunni)
  9.  Algeria 98.3%[32] (mostly Sunni)
  10.  Iran 98% (mostly Shi'a)[33]
  11.  Tunisia 98% (mostly Sunni)
  12.  Comoros 98% (mostly Sunni)[34]
  13.  Sudan 97%[35] (mostly Sunni)
  14.  Libya 96.6% (99%)[36] (Sunni)
  15.  Pakistan 96.4%[37] (75% Sunni, 25% Shi'a)[38]
  16.  Iraq 95% (Mostly Shi'a)[39]
  17.  Djibouti 94% (mostly Sunni)[40]
  18.  Niger 93% (mostly Sunni)[41]
  19.  Azerbaijan 91.6[42] (mostly Shi'a)[43]
  20.  Bangladesh 89.4% (Sunni)[44]
  21.  Egypt 89.3% (Sunni)[45]
  22.  Bahrain 79%[46] (Mostly Shi'a)[47]

Remarks: Because officially Muslim governments (such as Saudi Arabia,[48] Iran,[49] Sudan,[50] Somalia,[51] Afghanistan,[52] Pakistan[53] and Persian Gulf States[54]) that often forcibly suppress other religious beliefs rule a number of traditionally Islamic countries, the figures for these other religious groups could be higher than reported in those nations. While conversion to Islam is among its most supported tenets, conversion from Islam to another religion is considered to be the sin of apostasy according to the Hadith,[55] and in some countries it is subject to the penalty of death.[56] See Freedom of religion by country and Apostasy in Islam.

Irreligious and atheist

World nonreligious population by percentage, Dentsu Institute (2006) and Zuckerman (2005)[57]

Countries with the greatest proportion of people without religion (including agnostics and atheists) from Irreligion by country (as of 2007):

  1.  Czech Republic 70-81% (78%)
  2.  Estonia 71–82% (76%)
  3.  Japan 64–88% (76%)[58]
  4.  Denmark 72%
  5.  Sweden 46–82% (64%)
  6.  Vietnam 44–81% (63%)
  7.  Macau 62%[59]
  8.  Hong Kong 57%[60]
  9.  France 43–64%[61] (54%)
  10.  Norway 31–72% (52%)
  11.  China 47%[62] (details)
  12.  Netherlands 39–55% (47%)
  13.  Finland 28–60% (44%)
  14.  New Zealand 42%[63]
  15.  United Kingdom 31–52% (42%)[61] (25% England and Wales)[64]
  16.  South Korea 30–52% (41%)
  17.  Germany 25[65]–55%[66] (40%)
  18.  Hungary 32–46% (39%)
  19.  Belgium 42–43% (39%)
  20.  Bulgaria 34–40% (37%)
  21.  Slovenia 35–38% (37%)
  22.  Russia[67] 13–48% (31%)

Remarks: Ranked by mean estimate which is in brackets. Irreligious includes agnostic, atheist, secular believer, and people having no formal religious adherence. It does not necessarily mean that members of this group don′t belong to any religion. Some religions have harmonized with local cultures and can be seen as a cultural background rather than a formal religion. Additionally, the practice of officially associating a family or household with a religious institute while not formally practicing the affiliated religion is common in many countries. Thus, over half of this group is theistic and/or influenced by religious principles, but nonreligious/non-practicing and not true atheists or agnostics.[2] See Spiritual but not religious.

Hindus

Countries with the greatest proportion of Hindus from Hinduism by country (as of 2010):

  1.    Nepal 81.3%[68]
  2.  India 79.8%[69]
  3.  Mauritius 54%[70]
  4.  Fiji 33.7%[71]
  5.  Guyana 28%[72]
  6.  Bhutan 25%[73]
  7.  Suriname 22.3%[74]
  8.  Trinidad and Tobago 18.2%[75]
  9.  United Arab Emirates 15%[76]
  10.  Sri Lanka 12.6%[77]
  11.  Kuwait 12%[78]
  12.  Bangladesh 9.6%[79]
  13.  Bahrain 8.1%[80]
  14.  Réunion 6.7%[81][dead link]
  15.  Malaysia 6.3%[82]
  16.  Singapore 5.1%
  17.  Oman 3%[83]
  18.  Seychelles 2.1%[84]
  19.  New Zealand 2.0%[85]
  20.  Pakistan 1.8%[86]
  21.  Indonesia 1.7%[87]
  22.  USA 0.7%[88]

Buddhists

Countries with the greatest proportion of Buddhists from Buddhism by country (as of 2010):[89]

  1.  Cambodia 96.9%
  2.  Thailand 93.2%
  3.  Burma 80.1%
  4.  Bhutan 74.7%
  5.  Sri Lanka 69.3%
  6.  Laos 66%
  7.  Mongolia 55.1%
  8.  Japan 36.2% or 67%
  9.  Singapore 33.9%
  10.  South Korea 22.9%
  11.  Taiwan 21.1% or 35%
  12.  China 18.2%
  13.  Malaysia 17.7%
  14.  Vietnam 16.4%

Taoists/Confucianists/Chinese traditional religionists

As a spiritual practice, Taoism has made fewer inroads in the West than Buddhism and Hinduism. Despite the popularity of its great classics the I Ching and the Tao Te Ching, the specific practices of Taoism have not been promulgated in America with much success;[90] these religions are not ubiquitous worldwide in the way that adherents of bigger world religions are, and they remain primarily an ethnic religion. Nonetheless, Taoist ideas and symbols such as Taijitu have become popular throughout the world through Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong, and various martial arts.[91]

  1.  Taiwan 33–80%[92]
  2.  China 30%[93]
  3.  Hong Kong 28%[60]
  4.  Macau 13.9%[59]
  5.  Singapore 8.5%[94]
  6.  Malaysia 2.6%[95]
  7.  South Korea 0.2–1%[96]
  8.  Vietnam
  9.  Philippines 0.01–0.05%

The Chinese traditional religion has 184,000 believers in Latin America, 250,000 believers in Europe, and 839,000 believers in North America as of 1998.[97][98]

Ethnic/Indigenous

Indigenous

All of the below come from the U.S Department of State 2009 International Religious Freedom Report,[99] based on the highest estimate of people identified as indigenous or followers of indigenous religions that have been well-defined. Due to the syncretic nature of these religions, the following numbers may not reflect the actual number of practitioners.

  1.  Haiti 50%[100]
  2.  Guinea-Bissau 50%
  3.  Cameroon 40%
  4.  Togo 33%[101]
  5.  Côte d'Ivoire 25%
  6.  Sudan 25%[102]
  7.  Benin 23%
  8.  Burundi 20%
  9.  Burkina Faso 15%
  10.  New Zealand 15%[103]
  11.  South Africa 15%[104]
  12.  Democratic Republic of the Congo 12%
  13.  Central African Republic 10%
  14.  Gabon 10%
  15.  Lesotho 10%
  16.  Nigeria 10%
  17.  Sierra Leone 10%[105]
  18.  Indonesia 9%[106]
  19.  Kenya 9%
  20.  Palau 9%[107]
  21.  Ghana 8.5%
  22.  Guinea 5%

Sikhism

Countries with the greatest proportion of Sikhs:

  1.  India 1.9%
  2.  United Kingdom 1.2%[108][109]
  3.  Canada 0.9%[110]
  4.  Malaysia 0.5%[111]
  5.  Fiji 0.3%[112]
  6.  Singapore 0.3%[113][114]
  7.  United States 0.2%[115][116]
  8.  New Zealand 0.2%[117]
  9.  Australia 0.1%[118][119]
  10.  Italy 0.1%[120]

The Sikh homeland is the Punjab state, in India, where today Sikhs make up approximately 61% of the population. This is the only place where Sikhs are in the majority. Sikhs have emigrated to countries all over the world – especially to English-speaking and East Asian nations. In doing so they have retained, to an unusually high degree, their distinctive cultural and religious identity. Sikhs are not ubiquitous worldwide in the way that adherents of larger world religions are, and they remain primarily an ethnic religion. But they can be found in many international cities and have become an especially strong religious presence in the United Kingdom and Canada.[121]

Judaism

Countries with the greatest proportion of Jews (as of 2010):

  1.  Israel 75.4%[122]
  2.  Palestine (West Bank) 12–14% [123]
  3.  Monaco 2.9%[124]
  4.  United States 2.1%[125]
  5.  Gibraltar 2.1%
  6.  Cayman Islands 1.7%[126]
  7.  Netherlands Antilles^ 1.3%
  8.  Canada 1.1%
  9.  France 0.8%[127]
  10.  Argentina 0.6%[128]
  11.  Uruguay 0.5%[129]
  12.  Australia 0.5%
  13.  Hungary 0.5%[130]
  14.  U.S. Virgin Islands 0.5%[130]
  15.  Latvia 0.3%[130]
  16.  Germany 0.25%[65]
  17.  Netherlands 0.2%[131]
  18.  New Zealand 0.2%[130]
  19.  Ukraine 0.2%[130]
  20.  Russia 0.09%[132]

Spiritism

  1.  Cuba 10.3%
  2.  Jamaica 10.2%
  3.  Brazil 4.8%
  4.  Suriname 3.6%
  5.  Haiti 2.7%
  6.  Dominican Republic 2.2%
  7.  The Bahamas 1.9%
  8.  Nicaragua 1.5%
  9.  Trinidad and Tobago 1.4%
  10.  Guyana 1.3%
  11.  Venezuela 1.1%
  12.  Colombia 1.0%
  13.  Belize 1.0%
  14.  Honduras 0.9%
  15.  Puerto Rico 0.7%
  16.  Panama 0.5%
  17.  Iceland 0.5%
  18.  Guadeloupe 0.4%
  19.  Argentina 0.2%
  20.  Guatemala 0.2%

Source: http://www.thearda.com/QuickLists/QuickList_50.asp

Note that all these estimates come from a single source. However, this source gives a relative indication of the size of the Spiritist communities within each country.

Bahá'ís

Countries with the greatest proportion of Bahá'ís (as of 2010) with a national population ≥200,000:

  1.  Belize 2.5%
  2.  Bolivia 2.2%
  3.  Zambia 1.8%
  4.  Mauritius 1.8%
  5.  Guyana 1.6%
  6.  Vanuatu 1.4%
  7.  Barbados 1.2%
  8.  Trinidad and Tobago 1.2%
  9.  Panama 1.2%
  10.  Kenya 1.0%
  11.  Lesotho 0.9%
  12.  Papua New Guinea 0.9%
  13.  Réunion 0.9%
  14.  Chad 0.9%
  15.  Botswana 0.8%
  16.  Gambia 0.8%
  17.  Suriname 0.8%
  18.  Congo, Republic of the 0.6%
  19.  Solomon Islands 0.6%
  20.  Venezuela 0.6%

Sources: "Most Baha'i Nations (2010)". QuickLists > Compare Nations > Religions. The Association of Religion Data Archives. 2010. Retrieved 2013-08-20.  which used the "World Christian Database" for adherents estimates based on information provided by the World Christian Encyclopedia and "World Christian Trends". A source whose only systematic flaw was to consistently have a higher estimate of Christians than other cross-national data sets.[133] See "The Largest Baha'i Communities". Largest Religious Communities. Adherents.com. 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-20.  for 2000 estimates among all nations.

Jainism

  1.  India 0.3%
  2.  Suriname 0.3%
  3.  Fiji 0.2%
  4.  Kenya 0.2%

By population

Christians

Largest Christian populations (as of 2011):

  1.  United States 229,157,250[134]
  2.  Brazil 169,213,130[135]
  3.  Mexico 106,204,560[136]
  4.  Nigeria 80,510,000[137]
  5.  Philippines 78,790,000[138]
  6.  Russia 67,640,000[139]
  7.  China 67,070,000[137]
  8.  Democratic Republic of the Congo 63,150,000[137]
  9.  France 55,948,600
  10.  Italy 55,832,000
  11.  Ethiopia 51,477,950
  12.  Germany 50,752,580[140]
  13.  Colombia 44,502,000
  14.  Ukraine 41,973,000
  15.  South Africa 40,243,000
  16.  Spain 38,568,000
  17.  Poland 36,526,000
  18.  Kenya 33,625,790
  19.  Argentina 33,497,100
  20.  United Kingdom 33,200,417
  21.  Uganda 29,943,000
  22.  India 28,436,000
  23.  Venezuela 28,340,790
  24.  Peru 27,365,100
  25.  Indonesia 24,123,000

Muslims

A map of Muslim populations by numbers, (Pew Research Center, 2009).

Largest Muslim populations (as of 2013):

  1.  Indonesia 206,986,560[87]
  2.  Pakistan 180,608,292
  3.  India 160,945,000[141]
  4.  Bangladesh 132,937,800
  5.  Nigeria 80,000,000
  6.  Iran 73,238,340
  7.  Egypt 70,056,000
  8.  Turkey 70,036,838
  9.  Algeria 36,092,810
  10.  Morocco 31,351,800
  11.  Afghanistan 30,112,680
  12.  Sudan 30,064,180
  13.  Iraq 29,767,300
  14.  Ethiopia 28,120,050
  15.  Saudi Arabia 26,624,560
  16.  Uzbekistan 25,628,240
  17.  Yemen 23,836,523
  18.  China 20,095,870
  19.  Syria 19,601,750
  20.  Malaysia 17,085,402

Buddhists

Countries with the largest Buddhist populations as of 2010[89]
Country Estimated Buddhist population  % of the total population of the country  % of world Buddhist population
China 244,130,000 18.2% 50.1%
Thailand 64,420,000 93.2% 13.2%
Japan 45,820,000 36.2% 9.4%
Burma 38,410,000 80.1% 7.9%
Sri Lanka 14,450,000 69.3% 3%
Vietnam 14,380,000 16.4% 2.9%
Cambodia 13,690,000 96.9% 2.8%
South Korea 11,050,000 22.9% 2.3%
India 9,250,000 0.8% 1.9%
Malaysia 5,010,000 17.7% 1%
Subtotal for the ten countries 460,620,000 15.3% 94.5%
Subtotal for the rest of the world 26,920,000 0.7% 5.5%
World total 487,540,000 7.1% 100%

Hindus

Largest Hindu populations (as of 2010):

  1.  India 957,636,314
  2.    Nepal 21,354,570
  3.  Bangladesh 14,274,430
  4.  Indonesia 4,012,470[87]
  5.  Pakistan 2,603,895
  6.  Sri Lanka 2,554,606
  7.  Malaysia 1,700,100
  8.  United States 1,543,730
  9.  United Arab Emirates 1,239,610
  10.  South Africa 749,870
  11.  Mauritius 665,820
  12.  United Kingdom 630,000
  13.  Canada 497,960
  14.  Tanzania 403,570
  15.  Kuwait 328,440
  16.  Australia 275,500
  17.  Singapore 264,370
  18.  Fiji 261,097[71]
  19.  Trinidad and Tobago 240,100[75]
  20.  Myanmar 203,000[142]
  21.  Bhutan 177,100
  22.  Germany 120,000

Jews

Largest Jewish populations (as of 2011):

  1.  United States 6,588,065[143]
  2.  Israel 5,907,500[144]
  3.  France 493,600
  4.  Canada 375,000[130]
  5.  United Kingdom 291,000[130]
  6.  Russia 194,000[130]
  7.  Argentina 181,800[130]
  8.  Germany 119,000[130]
  9.  Australia 97,300[145]
  10.  Brazil 95,300[130]
  11.  Ukraine 70,200[130]
  12.  South Africa 67,000[130]
  13.  Hungary 48,200[130]
  14.  Mexico 39,200[130]
  15.  Belgium 30,000[130]
  16.  Italy 28,200[130]
  17.  Chile 18,500[130]
  18.  Turkey 17,400[130]
  19.  Uruguay 17,300[130]
  20.  Belarus 12,000[130]

Sikhs

Largest Sikh populations

  1.  India 22,892,600
  2.  UK 853,000
  3.  Canada 620,200
  4.  USA 500,010
  5.  Malaysia 120,000
  6.  Bangladesh 100,000[146]
  7.  Australia 72,300
  8.  Italy 70,000
  9.  Thailand 70,000
  10.  Myanmar 70,000
  11.  United Arab Emirates 50,000
  12.  Germany 40,000
  13.  Mauritius 37,700
  14.  Australia 72,300
  15.  Pakistan 29,150
  16.  Kenya 20,000
  17.  Kuwait 20,000
  18.  Philippines 20,000
  19.  New Zealand 17,400
  20.  Indonesia 15,000
  21.  Singapore 14,500

Bahá'ís

Largest Bahá'í populations (as of 2010) in countries with a national population ≥200,000:[147]

  1.  India 1,897,651
  2.  United States 512,864
  3.  Kenya 422,782
  4.  Vietnam 388,802
  5.  Congo, Democratic Republic of the 282,916
  6.  Philippines 275,069
  7.  Iran 251,127
  8.  Zambia 241,112
  9.  South Africa 238,532
  10.  Bolivia 215,359
  11.  Tanzania 190,419
  12.  Venezuela 169,811
  13.  Uganda 95,098
  14.  Chad 94,499
  15.  Pakistan 87,259
  16.  Burma (Myanmar) 78,915
  17.  Colombia 70,504
  18.  Malaysia 67,549
  19.  Thailand 65,096
  20.  Papua New Guinea 59,898

Jainism

As of 2005:[148]

  1.  India 5,146,697
  2.  United States 79,459
  3.  Kenya 68,848
  4.  United Kingdom 16,869
  5.  Canada 12,101
  6.  Tanzania 9,002
  7.    Nepal 6,800
  8.  Uganda 2,663
  9.  Burma 2,398
  10.  Malaysia 2,052
  11.  South Africa 1,918
  12.  Fiji 1,573
  13.  Japan 1,535
  14.  Australia 1,449
  15.  Suriname 1,217
  16.  Réunion 981
  17.  Belgium 815
  18.  Yemen 229

See also

Religions:

References

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  2. ^ a b c "Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents". Adherents.com. 2005. Retrieved 19 Jun 2010. 
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  4. ^ "Executive Summary". The Future of the Global Muslim Population. Pew Research Center. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
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  17. ^ "The Association of Religion Data Archives – National Profiles". Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  18. ^ "Kiribati". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "Micronesia, Federated States of". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
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