Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Interesting Global Religion Stats

Global Statistics Notes
Taken from the Pew Research Website

January 22, 2017

The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths. Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. If current trends continue, by 2050 …

§  The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.
§  Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion – though increasing in countries such as the United States and France – will make up a declining share of the world’s total population.
§  The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than they are today.
§  In Europe, Muslims will make up 10% of the overall population.
§  India will retain a Hindu majority but also will have the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia.
§  In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion. Muslims will be more numerous in the U.S. than people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion.
§  Four out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Fertility- 2010-2050- Replacement is 2.1
Muslims- 3.1-2.3
Christians 2.7-2.3
Global- 2.5-2.1
Jews- 2.3-2.1
No other religion birthing at replacement rate.

Future Growth
The answer depends on continuation of the trends described in Chapter 1. If the main projection model is extended beyond 2050, the Muslim share of the world’s population would equal the Christian share, at roughly 32% each, around 2070. After that, the number of Muslims would exceed the number of Christians, but both religious groups would grow, roughly in tandem, as shown in the graph above. By the year 2100, about 1% more of the world’s population would be Muslim (35%) than Christian (34%).

In next 40 years, Christianity is likely to see a net loss of 60 million. China, India and some other significant countries not projected.

In North America and Europe an expected 66 million switching out of Christianity. Most of them will become unaffiliated. We need to change that trend.

Growth of Geographic Christianity
Due largely to high fertility, sub-Saharan Africa is projected to experience the fastest overall growth, rising from 12% of the world’s population in 2010 to about 20% in 2050. The Middle East-North Africa region also is expected to grow faster than the world as a whole, edging up from 5% of the global population in 2010 to 6% in 2050.

Ongoing growth in both regions will fuel global increases in the Muslim population. In addition, sub-Saharan Africa’s Christian population is expected to double, from 517 million in 2010 to 1.1 billion in 2050. The share of the world’s Christians living in sub-Saharan Africa will rise from 24% in 2010 to 38% in 2050.

Most notably, one of the world’s leading specialists on religion in China, Purdue University sociologist Fenggang Yang, estimates that the Christian population in China grew at an average annual rate of 7% between 1950 and 2010. At this rate, Yang calculates the proportion of China’s population that is Christian could grow from 5% in 2010 to 67% in 2050.37
Virgil Note- There is no way to know if this estimate is accurate. But if it is, this would significantly change the world numbers. Additionally, we have no idea what Chinese emigration might look like in 20-30 years. If Chinese are emigrating around the world, they might be having many children and populating the world with Christians.
Under that main scenario, 5.4% of China’s population and 31.4% of the world’s total population will be Christian in 2050. If China’s Christian population were to decline to Japanese levels (2.4% of the country’s population) in 2050, it would reduce the Christian share of the global population to 30.9%. On the other hand, if China’s Christian population was to increase to the level projected for South Korea in 2050 (33.3% of the country’s population), it would raise the count of Christians in China to 437 million and the share of Christians in the world’s overall population to 35.3%.
And if everyone who is currently unaffiliated in China were to convert to Christianity by 2050, China’s population would be 56.2% Christian (734 million Christians), raising the Christian share of the world’s population to 38.5% and lowering the unaffiliated share of the global population to 6.1%. Though that scenario may be unlikely, it offers a rough sense of how much difference religious switching in China maximally could have by 2050. Extremely rapid growth of Christianity in China could maintain or, conceivably, even increase Christianity’s current numerical advantage as the world’s largest religion, and it could significantly accelerate the projected decline by 2050 in the share of the global population that is religiously unaffiliated.

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