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World Population by Religion 2023

Over the last two thousand years, mainly two religious thoughts dominated the world’s religious landscape. Indian religions, which include Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, etc., and the Abrahamic religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In addition, people in many countries practice various folk or traditional religions, including African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions, and Australian aboriginal religions. Worldwide, more than 84% of people identify with a religious group.

As of 2023, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.38 billion adherents, nearly a third (31.1%) of all 7.66 billion people on Earth. Islam was second, with 1.9 billion adherents, or 24.9% of the global population.

The unaffiliated population in the world is around 1.2 billion people or 15.6% of the global population. Hinduism was fourth, with 1.16 billion adherents, or 15.2% of the global population followed by Buddhists with 500 million adherents, or 6.6% of the global population.

Adherents of various folk religions – including African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions, and Australian aboriginal religions account for 430 million (5.6%) of the world population.

And all other religions combined – an umbrella category that includes Jews, Baha’is, Jains, Sikhs, Taoists, and many smaller faiths are approximately 61 million or 1% of the world population.

Source: Pew Research Center

Christianity was the world’s largest religion, followed by Islam in the second spot. Hinduism is in third place followed by Buddhism.  In addition, more than 400 million people practice various folk or traditional religions, including African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions, and Australian aboriginal religions. 

An estimated 58 million people – slightly less than 1% of the global population – belong to other religions, including the Baha’i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism, and other smaller faiths.

Let’s look at the world population by adherents

ReligionPopulation 2020
Christians2,382,750,000
Muslims1,907,110,000
Unaffiliated1,193,750,000
Hindus1,161,440,000
Buddhists506,990,000
Folk Religions429,640,000
Other Religions60,990,000
Jews14,660,000
All Religions 7,657,330,000

Folk and Other Smaller religions

Other major folk religions include African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions, and Australian aboriginal religions. Smaller religions include Baha’is, Jains, Sikhs, Taoists, and many smaller faiths. 

Folk and smaller Religion estimatesPopulation 2020
Chinese traditional religion394 million
Ethnic religions 300 million
African traditional religions100 million
Sikhism26 million
Spiritism15 million
Judaism14.7 million
Baháʼí5.0 million
Jainism4.2 million
Shinto4.0 million
Cao Dai4.0 million
Zoroastrianism2.6 million
Tenrikyo2.0 million
Animism1.9 million
Neo-Paganism1.0 million
Unitarian Universalism0.8 million
Rastafari0.6 million

Source: Pew Research Center

Religion in World by Percentage

All ReligionsPercentage 2020
Christians31.1%
Muslims24.9%
Unaffiliated15.6%
Hindus15.2%
Buddhists6.6%
Folk Religions5.6%
Jews< 1.0%
Other Religions< 1.0%

Folk and Smaller religions by percentage

Folk and Other ReligionsPercentage
Chinese traditional religion5%
Ethnic religions3%
African traditional religions1.20%
Sikhism0.30%
Spiritism0.19%
Judaism0.18%
Baháʼí0.07%
Jainism0.05%
Shinto0.05%
Cao Dai0.05%
Zoroastrianism0.03%
Tenrikyo0.02%
Animism0.02%
Neo-Paganism0.01%
Unitarian Universalism0.01%
Rastafari0.01%

Source: Pew Research Center

Religious Geographical Distribution

Out of all the world religions, Christians are the most evenly distributed in World. Muslims are concentrated in the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. Hinduism, Buddhism, and folk regions are majorly in the Asia Pacific.

Roughly equal numbers of Christians live in Europe (26%), Latin America and the Caribbean (24%), and sub-Saharan Africa (24%). The Asia-Pacific region also is home to most of the world’s Muslims (62%). About 20% of Muslims live in the Middle East and North Africa, and nearly 16% reside in sub-Saharan Africa.

Several religious groups are heavily concentrated in the Asia-Pacific region, including the vast majority of Hindus (99%), Buddhists (99%), adherents of folk or traditional religions (90%), and members of other world religions (89%). Three-quarters of the religiously unaffiliated (76%) also live in the massive and populous Asia- Pacific region. The unaffiliated population is also growing at a good pace in Europe and the Americas.

Percentage-wise religion geographical distribution

RegionChristiansMuslimsHindusBuddhistsFolk ReligionsOther ReligionsUnaffiliated
Asia-Pacific 7.2%25.7%26.0%11.3% 8.6% 1.2%20.0%
Europe72.2% 6.8%< 1.0%< 1.0%< 1.0%< 1.0%20.0%
Latin America-Caribbean89.7%< 1.0%< 1.0%< 1.0% 1.8%< 1.0% 8.0%
Middle East-North Africa 3.6%93.1%< 1.0%< 1.0%< 1.0%< 1.0%< 1.0%
North America74.6% 1.3%< 1.0% 1.2%< 1.0%< 1.0%19.2%
Sub-Saharan Africa62.0%31.4%< 1.0%< 1.0% 3.2%< 1.0 3.0%

source: Pew research  center

Top Countries by Christian Population

The United States is the country with the Largest Christian population in the world. It has an estimated 252 million people who adhere to Christianity. With a 185 million Christain population, Brazil is in second place followed by Mexico (118 million). The Philippines with a 102 million Christian population is in 4th place closely followed by Russia (101 million) in the fifth spot.

Top 10 Countries by Christian Population

RankCountryChristian Population 2020% Christian in Country
1United States252,870,00075.48%
2Brazil185,430,00088.11%
3Mexico118,570,00094.10%
4Philippines102,320,00092.36%
5Russia101,900,00072.91%
6Nigeria96,080,00046.94%
7Democratic Republic of the Congo81,520,00095.84%
8China72,410,0005.21%
9Ethiopia62,610,00061.93%
10Germany53,190,00066.04%

read more about Top Countries with Christian population

Top Countries by Muslim Population

Indonesia is the country with the Largest Muslim population in the world. It has an estimated 23 million people who adhere to Islam. India with 21 million is in second place closely followed by Pakistan (20 million). Bangladesh with a 153 million Muslim population is in 4th place followed by Nigeria (10 million) in the fifth spot.

Top 10 countries by the Muslim population

RankCountryMuslims% Muslims
1Indonesia229,620,00087.01%
2India213,340,00015.38%
3Pakistan200,490,00096.45%
4Bangladesh153,010,00090.76%
5Nigeria104,650,00051.13%
6Egypt90,420,00095.31%
7Iran80,880,00099.54%
8Turkey79,090,00098.03%
9Iraq41,430,00099.04%
10Afghanistan40,610,00099.73%

read more about Top Countries with Muslim population

Top Countries by Hindu Population

India is the country with the Largest Hindu population in the world. It has an estimated 1.10 billion people who adhere to Hinduism. With a 28 million Hindu population, Nepal is in second place followed by Bangladesh (14 million). Indonesia with a 4.2 million Hindu population is in 4th place closely followed by Pakistan (4 million) in the fifth spot.

Top 10 countries by Hindu Population

RankCountryHindus Population 2020% Hindus
1India1,093,780,00078.86%
2Nepal28,600,00080.59%
3Bangladesh13,790,0008.18%
4Indonesia4,210,0001.60%
5Pakistan3,990,0001.92%
6Sri Lanka3,090,00013.73%
7United States2,510,0000.75%
8Malaysia1,940,0005.82%
9United Kingdom1,030,0001.60%
10Burma (Myanmar)890,0001.71%


Read more about Top Countries by Hindu Population

Top Countries by Buddisht Population

China is the country with the Largest Buddhist population in the world. It has an estimated 255 million people who adhere to Buddhism. With a 66 million Buddhist population, Thailand is in second place followed by Myanmar (41 million). Japan with a 41 million Buddhist population is in 4th place followed by Cambodia (16 million) in the fifth spot.

Let’s have a Top 10 countries in the world by the Buddhist population. 

RankCountryBuddhists Population 2020% of Total Country Population
1China254,700,00018.33%
2Thailand66,120,00092.58%
3Burma (Myanmar)41,440,00079.83%
4Japan41,380,00033.19%
5Cambodia15,690,00096.79%
6Vietnam15,560,00016.15%
7Sri Lanka15,440,00068.59%
8South Korea10,950,00021.95%
9India10,140,0000.73%
10Malaysia5,220,00015.65%

Source: Pew Research Center

Read more about Top Countries by Buddhist Population

Top Countries by Jews Population

Israel is the country with the Largest Jews population in the world. It has an estimated 6.3 million people who adhere to Judaism. With a 5.7 million Jews population, the United States is in second place followed by Canada. 

Let’s have a Top 10 countries in the world by the Jews population. 

RegionCountryEst. Jews population 2020
1Israel6,360,000
2United States5,700,000
3Canada420,000
4France340,000
5United Kingdom270,000
6Germany220,000
7Russia200,000
8Argentina200,000
9Australia120,000
10Brazil110,000

Source: Pew Research Center

World Population by Religion 2024 | Religion in World