Top World Religions

Religiously unaffiliated rank third among religious adherents worldwide

by Catherine McNiff

Related Links

The Religiously Unaffiliated now rank as the world's third largest religious group, after Christians and Muslims. According to a report recently released by the Pew Research Center, this means that 1.1 billion people, or 16% of the world's population, are atheists, agnostics, or people who do not identify with any particular religion in surveys.

Where Are the Unaffiliated?

Numbering 858,580,000, the majority (76%) of the religiously unaffiliated live in Asia and the Pacific. The rest are in Europe (12%), North America (5%), Latin America and the Caribbean (4%), sub-Saharan Africa (2%) and the Middle East and North Africa (less than 1%). China has the largest unaffiliated population—half of its citizens do not lay claim to a religion. After China's lion's share of 62.2% of the world's unaffiliated population, Japan contributes 6.4% and the U.S. follows with 4.5%.

Religion in the Future

In terms of age of adherents, the youngest world religion is Islam, with a median age of 23. Hindus have a median age of 26. At 30, Christians are in the middle of the age spectrum, followed by folk religionists (33), the unaffiliated (34), Buddhists (34), and Jews (36).The median age of the world's population is 28.


Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Top World Religions

highlights

Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks