'No religion' group is world third-largest, after Christians and Muslims

As per a study entitled “The Global Religious Landscape” by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, People with no religious affiliation make up the third-largest global group after Christians and Muslims and just before Hindus.

  • Islam and Hinduism mostly likely to expand in the future while Jews have the weakest growth prospects.
  • Christianity is the most evenly spread religion, present in all regions of the world, while Hinduism is the least global with 94 % of its population in one country, India.
  • 84% of the world’s inhabitants identify with a religion.

Who are the people in “Unaffiliated” category?

  • It covers all those who do not belong to any religion, from atheists and agnostics to people with spiritual beliefs but no link to any established faith.

How the expansion of a religion has been calculated?

  • The growth of a religion has been calculated on the basis of median age of its respective believers.
  • The median age highlights the population bulge at the point where half the population is above and half below that number.
  • Muslims had the lowest median age at 23 years, compared to 28 for believers all around the world. It shows that Muslims are going to grow.
  • Judaism has the highest median age at 36, meaning its growth prospects are weakest.
  • Among the 1.1 billion unaffiliated people around the world, 62 % live in China alone and they make up 52.2 % of the Chinese population.
  • Japan is the only other country with an unaffiliated majority, at 57 % of the national population.
  • Around 50% of the world’s Buddhists live in China, followed by Thailand at 13.2 % and Japan with 9.4 of Buddhist population.
  • “Other religions” includes Baha’i, Taoism, Jainism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism. Most were in the Asia-Pacific region.



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